Perfectionism: is it good or bad?
That is a complicated question, and there are both “pro” and “contra" arguments. There are people thinking that perfectionism means undisputable attention to details and careful task completion, which give a person a serious advantage in a competitive environment. But does one’s daring to perfection really helps and makes sense? From this article, you can see that point of view to be wrong.
Another thing worth mentioning: “perfectionism” is not a synonym to “hard work”. In the second case you wake up early in the morning and work till late night because this can bring you success. Elon Musk said that his secret of success is hidden in 100 working hours per week. And perfectionism is often hidden in one’s daring to waste too much time for negligible details.
Additionally, one should not equalize perfectionism and a well-done job. In the case of a job done well, one finishes a project paying enough attention and devoting enough time to small details and does not feel bad because of a job being imperfect.
What is Perfectionism?
Wikipedia understands perfectionism as a belief that the perfection can and must be reached. On the everyday level, they think it to be the one’s excessive daring to perfection, the will to put very high demands for themselves and others.
Features of perfectionism:
- You constantly compare yourself with people around;
- Excessive wishes and high demands about yourself;
- Perceiving other people as demanding and criticizing ones;
- High activity standards;
- Concentration of attention on your own failures and mistakes.
This all leads to constant doubts, lack of self-confidence, stress, depression and intrusive thoughts. It can be the reason of your conflicts with other people as perfectionism inflicts your relations with people, too.
Perfectionism is based on your fear, inflexible rules and overestimated standards, which often do not have any real substance. If there is a week to complete any job, then it will be correct to plan time in order to finish it completely. But perfectionists are doubtfully able to complete at least a half of a task, as they are too concentrated on details. Sometimes, it is more useful to complete a project at once, to do the first draft and then polish it until time runs out.
Additionally, perfectionism often makes a person cycle up on one aspect of a task. He or she can’t move forward as thinks about a part of a job being done not perfectly. For some people, perfectionism can even be called as a mental disorder form. They keep up to a “black-and-white” thinking: all or nothing.
It often appears when there is one or several of the next factors available:
- High expectations of one’s parents;
- Achievements praised too much;
- Low self-esteem and feeling of inferiority;
- Thoughts about self-esteem being dependent on achievements;
- Black-and-white thinking;
- Will to have excessive control.
In some families, perfectionism is welcomed. Sometimes, parents can consciously or unconsciously set it up as a standard. They need their children to have the highest grades, sports triumphs, contest victories etc.
You can be so stunned with your wish to finish the task in time and to do it as well as possible, that you’ll refuse completing it at all. Sounds strange, but humans are often not to keep up to logic.
Trying to get rid of pain, you can decide that it is much better not to start the job at all in order to avoid feeling stress.
Procrastination means delaying tasks till later on purpose. If to talk about the job, it can have a form of a constant brainstorm. You think out hundreds of outstanding ideas that have something to do with a project, but you do nothing.
When a certain moment comes, you start feeling guilt, but try to suppress it. And then again, the point is about a pain. If the pain from not doing your job is weaker than that you get because of procrastinating, then the project will not be moved forward at all.