___ Do you set high standards for yourself and get angry if you don’t achieve them?
___ Are you harder on yourself than on anyone else?
___ Do you accept other people’s flaws but none of your own?
___ Do you feel disappointed in yourself if you get a grade less than an A?
___ Are you frustrated or upset if you receive an evaluation that includes constructive criticism or a suggestion on how to improve?
___ Are your positive feelings about yourself dependent on performing perfectly?
___ Are you frustrated if you do not perform perfectly?
___ Do you reject the praise of others even when you have done something well?
___ Is it hard for you to receive compliments?
___ Are you afraid of failure or criticism?
___ Do you feel your way is the best way?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above, there is a good chance that you are a perfectionist. Most perfectionists will argue that there is nothing wrong with perfectionism – after all, isn’t it motivating and doesn’t it push you to do you very best?
The answer to both questions is “yes” and “no.” Striving to do well is certainly a desirable quality, but perfectionism can be a real problem. It makes you vulnerable to stress at work, school and home, and subjects you to mood swings, depression and anxiety.
Perfectionists often have difficulties in relationships; they are lonely, frustrated and unhappy.
They have trouble learning from criticism, failures or mistakes. They are often held back from doing important things by a fear of making a mistake or failing. When they make a mistake or fail to be perfect they verbally abuse themselves, sulk, pout, or make others around them miserable.
Perfectionists are self-centered. They tend to obsess over what they are trying to accomplish, waste time over minor details, worry and repeat steps over and over in order to get it right…perfect. In the long run, they take longer and are less productive.
Perfectionists are unfair to themselves. They do not allow themselves the reward of enjoying their successes or the fun of celebrating their improvements. It is important to allow ourselves moments in which we feel proud and satisfied with our accomplishments before we take the nest steps toward higher achievement. These positive experiences serve as reservoirs of positive energy that help us through difficult times. Perfectionists don’t have these reservoirs from which to draw.