Are you a Perfectionist? Here are the Pros and Cons of perfectionism.
1 – What does it mean to be a perfectionist?
Mathematician and Historian Eric Temple Bell said that if Carl Friedrich Gauss, the prince of mathematics, had published all his discoveries in a timely manner, he would have advanced mathematics by 50 years. But Gauss was a perfectionist and did not publish many of his discoveries because he feared that they were never perfect enough.
Some people strive for greatness; they set goals and high standards and work hard to achieve them. Sometimes they push themselves to reach their mental and physical limits in order to get what they want. This shows that they have a strong character and a good self-discipline.
On the other hand, people straining continuously and compulsively toward goals that cannot be met or are only met with great difficulty, and measure their self-worth by efficiency and accomplishment are called perfectionists. They pressure themselves to achieve unattainable ideals, which inevitably sets them up for disappointment.
While perfectionism has played a major role in many achievements and has several benefits, it has been associated with numerous detrimental psychological and physiological complications.
2 – Positive aspects of perfectionism:
In The Guardian, Laya Maheshwari argued that perfectionism’s bad reputation is unfair and wrote that “when there’s even one ambitious member who’ll create self-imposed deadlines and ask for a chart to supplement the bullet point, the work you produce will be that much better.
Perfectionism can drive people to accomplishments and provide the motivation to persevere in the face of discouragement and obstacles.
Perfectionism provides the driving energy and motivation to work diligently and maintain an impressive work ethic.
Attention to details
Perfectionists tend to have a meticulous attention to detail, necessary for any great endeavor.
They also have the commitment that pushes them to keep working until they met their goals no matter how difficult they seem, and the persistence that leads to great achievement.
3 – Negative aspects of perfectionism
Perfectionists tend to postpone tasks, not because it is a trait of them, but because they fear failure, and they worry about not being capable of doing something perfectly. Thus, procrastination becomes a strategy to protect their sense of self-competence. So they become immobilized.
Perfectionists feel constant pressure to meet their high standards, which creates a psychological conflict because of the incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously when they cannot meet their own expectations.
Perfectionists strive for excellence and need validation from others to feel good about their accomplishments and about themselves. When they feel that they were incapable of achieving a goal, they automatically become very self-critical and unhappy, and suffer from low self-esteem.
The Focus results only
When chasing a goal, People usually enjoy the process of growing and striving before attaining that goal. Perfectionists can’t do that. They tend to focus only on the goal and nothing else. They become so obsessed about it that they become unable to enjoy the process along the way.
Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves and wallow in negative feelings when they fail to meet their standards. They believe that making a mistake makes them a failure or a horrible person, which often leads to depression.
In addition to that, Perfectionism is a risk factor for many pathologies including eating disorders, social anxiety, substance abuse, work holism and self-harm as well as physical problems like chronic stress, and heart disease.
It has been proven by many studies that people with perfectionism have a higher mortality rate than those without perfectionism. A possible reason for this is the additional stress and worry that accompanies the irrational belief that everything should be perfect.