Brief recap of what I discussed last week I defined what perfectionism is… this is a set of defeating thought patterns that push you to achieve unrealistic high goals… I also differentiated between healthy(adaptive perfectionism) and unhealthy(maladaptive perfectionism) perfectionism.
– sets standards beyond reach and reason
– is never satisfied by less than perfection
– becomes depressed when they experience failure
– is preoccupied with fear of failure and disapproval
– sees mistakes as evidence of unworthiness
– becomes overly defensive when criticized
– sets high standards, just beyond reach
– enjoys the process as well as the outcome
– bounces back from failure and disappointment quickly and with energy
– keeps normal anxiety and fear of failure and disapproval within normal bounds.
If you missed the last article you can click on the link The cries of a perfectionist (part 1)
Today I will discuss the negative effects of a perfectionist what are they….?
(1)It leads to a constant sense of failure
Perfectionists tend to focus on the flaws rather than the achievement. So no matter how well a task is done, there is always a sense of failure that it wasn’t done even better. An example is completing a lovely project but focusing on the rough edges…
(2) It leads to procrastination and lowered output
Instead of taking the first step to start a new project, you are plagued by the overwhelming anxiety of not meeting the standards, so you don’t make a move at all. You take forever to begin something because you don’t want to make a mistake along the way. Too much attention to detail can overwhelm you to the point of leaving a project incomplete until time forces its pressure to perform. It might take you twice as long to finish a project, in fear of producing anything less than perfect. As a result you miss deadlines and the process of achievement is normally full of terror and pain.
(3) It leads to missed opportunities.
waiting for all the ducks to line up so they can make the first move… Now is never the perfect time or moment.. because of that perception of life they choose to stick to working jobs they have no passion for, despite their superb skills, rather than actively using them to push toward their ambitions.
When they are not open to new experiences, they miss out on a lot of opportunities to discover new interests, people, and passions. When they are closed off, these limits they place upon themselves bring unnecessary stress and make them miss out on what life has to offer. More importantly, it reduces opportunities for creativity.
(4)It affects their children
Imagine the pressure a perfectionist puts of their children drumming in their ears or in other ways that anything short from perfection is not good enough by focusing on the stuff they get wrong rather than what they do right.
(5)They never learn from their mistakes
One side effect of a perfectionist attitude is a terror of making mistakes. Mistakes equate with failure to a perfectionist. So either they don’t acknowledge and learn from their mistakes or they simply don’t make them. But the only way not to make mistakes is to limit what they do – thus limiting themselves and their growth as a person.
(6)Stress and Anxiety
It makes you unhappy when you don’t need to be. You become drained by excess stress when you try to complete a task with anything less than perfection as the acceptable standard. When you’re under heavy amounts of stress, the anxiety can take over, robbing you of your sleep at night by over thinking. You can become so worried about things outside of your control that pose a threat to reaching perfection, or beat yourself up over minor setbacks because you can’t help but perceive them as a personal failure. This can cause burn out, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high blood pressure and stress related diseases all in the name of wanting to be perfect….
(7) Low self esteem
Since perfectionist tends to believe that everything can come out perfectly with their own hands, they will damage themselves when failure comes. they may think negative things about themselves and bring themselves down. Perfectionists are like birds that fly so high when the weather is great but when a sudden outpour of rain comes, the bird will stop flying and look for trees to shield them from the rain. Perfectionists fly high when great projects are being done but when a failure comes, they fly down, get wet and find it hard to fly high again because they have lost self-esteem.
Food for thought
Being a perfectionist is not wrong at all if you use it in a proper and positive way. Extreme perfectionism will bring consequences that you wouldn’t like to experience. If you notice that your being a perfectionist stresses you, then it is time for you to start changing. Use perfectionism in a good way for you will be happy to see the result of it.
Watch out for part 3 I will discuss the causes of extreme perfectionism…