What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism refers to a way of thinking which forces one to feel the need to be or appear to be perfect or flawless, often leading one to measure himself by impossibly high yardsticks. Not only, does the person try to attain perfection himself, he even tries to mold his surroundings into being perfect and often ends up feeling agitated on being unable to achieve the same. Studies suggest that the higher the perfectionist is; the more psychological disorders one is likely to face. 

A Deep Look Inside – Perfectionistic Mindset

 The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.

This infamous quote by George Orwell holds immense significance, especially in today’s world, where the fog of social media has engulfed us all, where the world appears to be unrealistically perfect, leading us to believe that achieving perfection in life is even possible.

A person with a perfectionistic mindset, in simple words, believes that it is possible to achieve perfection. He views his life as an endless report card of his performance. Perfectionism is also often called an ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Something is either perfect or a failure, there is a single right way and the rest are wrong, for a person carrying such a mindset. Perfectionism robs him of ever being able to feel satisfied and fulfilled. Therefore, practicing non-adaptive perfectionism can be immensely toxic and has all the power to push one downhill.

How Does Perfectionism Push You Downhill?

working and trying to be perfect

A maladaptive form of perfectionism can push you downhill and lead to failure in several ways -:

  • You Always Feel Undone

Since you measure all your output by extremely high standards, your work never appears completed or perfect to you. Worrying about your output not being perfect, you always feel the scope for improvement and keep working on it.

  • Your Creativity Is Curbed

Your creativity and imagination are squashed since you always try to instill perfection into your work and thus feel hesitant to rely on your own intuitive and creative senses.

  • You Feel Stressed and DYSMORPHIC

 The following perfectionism can be extremely strenuous because nothing is ever good enough for you, be it your surroundings or even yourself. You become too self-critical. This leads you to spend time stressing over your appearance and turns out to be a major cause of body dysmorphic disorder. You may seek out numerous cosmetic procedures to try to “fix” your perceived flaw. Afterward, you may feel temporary satisfaction or a reduction in your distress, but often the anxiety returns and you may resume searching for other ways to fix your perceived flaw.

  • You Seldom Take Risks

Perfectionism is often fueled by the intense fear of failure. This deters you from taking risks. This fear of failure makes you fail.

  • You Become A People-Pleaser

Perfectionism makes you want to be flawless and you find yourself wanting others to think of you as flawless too. You see yourself as good if people like you and bad if they don’t. This makes you seek validation from the outside world. This makes you become a people pleaser.

  • You Are Unable to Delegate

Being a perfectionist gives you a hard time delegating your authority and responsibility of tasks to others because you believe that everyone else, not sharing your idea of perfectionism, is wrong. Being unable to delegate when needed, you end up overburdening yourself.

  • You Are Highly Critical of Others

In addition to being self-critical, you are too critical of others as well. You judge them for not doing their respective work if it doesn’t match your standards of perfection or sharing your perfectionistic ideas. This gives you a hard time working in teams and depreciates your productivity.

  • You Never Rest

A perfectionistic mindset never allows you to rest. You never permit yourself to rest if your work isn’t done, or isn’t up to the mark yet, leading you to keep working on it endlessly.

How to Overcome Maladaptive Perfectionism?

There is nothing wrong with being a healthy perfectionist but the problem lies in becoming a neurotic one. If you find yourself practicing toxic perfectionism that deters you from feeling good about yourself and disrupt your productivity and outside relations, here are a few ways you can overcome this.

done is better than perfect
  • Be More Accepting Towards Yourself

One of the most fundamental ways out of the labyrinth of toxic perfectionism is to learn how to respect and love yourself and not allow your goals to take precedence over your self-worth.

  • Celebrate All Your Victories, Big or Small

Do not let your perfectionism convince you any less of all your victories and don’t let your impossibly high yardsticks dull the glare of your achievements.

  • Celebrate Your Failures Too

Failing is inevitable. It is ought to happen, no matter how much you try to run away from it. Stop fearing it. Do not let your perfectionism make you dread failures because you will never learn as much from your success as you will learn from these failures.

  • Do Not Indulge in Unhealthy Comparison

Avoid comparing your life to others as this can amplify your perfectionistic tendencies. With an already perfectionistic mindset, comparison with others can lead you to feel even more insecure and agitated about your imperfections.

  • Stop Relying on the ‘All or Nothing’ Mentality

Having such a mentality can be self-defeating and due to this, you may find yourself being governed by unrealistic and torturous thoughts. In the real world, nothing ever comes this smoothly. So, convince yourself that everything happens in progression, not in an ‘all or nothing’ manner.

  • Treat Your Goals as Guides, Not Absolutes

Do not let your goals overwhelm you. Your goals are more of a journey than a destination.   Do not live in the fear of not being able to achieve them flawlessly, or not achieving them at all. Remember, you are way bigger than your goals, and lastly, take care of your mental health.

Written by Aadvika

Categories: Blogs

1 Comment

Aditye Kundra · 1 February 2021 at 1:23 pm

Wow. Well written!

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