There are some people who need to dream and shoot higher than everybody around them. They are recognizable by their incapacity to relax, to compromise and to relent. We call them perfectionists; they call themselves efficient.
There’s nothing wrong with being thorough or wanting to do things in a certain, close to perfection kind of way. But there is something wrong with being driven by stress and anger, to be rigid and over-controlling. A perfectionist will tell you that perfection is the furthest thing from his mind. A truly sincere perfectionist will tell you that in his mind, he’s never good enough. So when they get stuck in details, what really drives them is the fear of failure.
Here are some subtle clues that you are more of perfectionist than you realize:
1. You always look as if you came from a fashion shoot
You wouldn’t go out unless you look impeccable from head to toes. And of course, you have never eaten a deep fried pizza in your life. But be careful, such a behavior can put you at risk of developing eating disorders, anorexia being the most dangerous one.
2. You never present unfinished work
Any draft you create it’s for your eyes only, since offering an idea that’s not thoroughly structured and polished is a source of shame and fear. That’s why it may take longer to accomplish any given task.
3. Lists and schedules are your favorite things in the world
Making lists is the first thing on your to do list. This helps you to be organized and efficient and to do things in the most productive manner possible. For you, being flexible is just a fancy word for being sloppy.
4. Doing nothing feels wrong to you
Just sitting on the terrace and admiring a sunset is something that can make you uncomfortable. What are you to do with yourself when there’s no task at hand? Vacation is the time when you do the things you haven’t had the time to complete during the rest of the year.
5. You have to do everything yourself
Of course that everything is done better if you do it yourself, so why bother to delegate? You prefer being exhausted rather than ask somebody else to help.
Taking your work seriously, being the best at whatever you’re doing and having high standards are great qualities to have. But being driven by fear of failure or thinking you will be judged for any little mistake can make your life harder than it needs to be. Next time you feel that you have to be perfect or you will be rejected by those around you, remember that there’s beauty in imperfections.
Let your friends know what goes on in your mind when you’re packing your bags for the third time, share this!