9 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

“Beneath every perfectionist’s mind, there lives a poor soul dying from anguish and tired of fighting against the atrocious desire for making everything flawless. But, the God of perfection was never born.” ― Rafsan Al Musawver

You may not have a meticulously organized junk drawer or a closet full of clothes organized by color or sleeve length, but perfectionist traits may still be affecting your life—and holding you back. Can you relate to any of these habits?

Here Are 9 Signs That You Might Be a Perfectionist

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9 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

1. You think in all-or-nothing terms.

Something is either right or wrong, good or bad, perfect or a disaster. You tend to think in one extreme or the other, rather than seeing the characteristics of people and situations existing along a continuum. For example, you tend to think, “She is mean,” instead of, “She can sometimes be mean.”

Related: The Perfectionist’s Trap: How Perfectionism Robs Us Of Our Humanity

2. You think, and then act, in extremes.

Have you ever acted on a sentiment like this, more than once?: “I had one cookie and screwed up my diet…I might as well eat them all.”

3. You can’t trust others to do a task correctly, so you rarely delegate.

Others may see you as a micro-manager or control freak, but you see your actions as just wanting to get the job done right.

4. You have demanding standards for yourself and others.

You believe in always giving your best and you expect others to do the same. And you are scared to death of looking like a failure.

9 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

5. You have trouble completing a project because you think there is always something more you can do to make it better.

You obsess about sharing your book, project, meal, invitation, business card, website, article, or speech with others. You want to make sure your work is the best it can be before revealing it.

Related: How Self-Compassion Can Fight Perfectionism

6. You use the word “should” a lot.

“I should do this,” and “They should do that,” maybe common phrases, both out loud and inside your head. You have certain “rules” you believe that you, and others, should follow. And when those rules aren’t followed, you are not pleased.

7. Your self-confidence depends on what you accomplish and how others react to you.

You strive for excellence and need validation from others to feel good about your accomplishments. What’s more, once you have achieved a goal, you quickly move on to the next one.

8. You tend to fixate on something you messed up.

You may have done something right, but still, focus instead on the one mistake you made.

9. You procrastinate, or avoid situations where you think you might not excel.

It may seem counterintuitive, but many people who procrastinate or avoid doing something are actually perfectionists: They’re afraid they will fail. Their rationale is, “I might not be able to do it perfectly, so why to bother at all?”

Related: How to Stop Perfectionism From Controlling Your Life

Do you know how perfectionism is affecting your life? Take the Better Than Perfect Quiz to find out!

For daily inspiration follow Dr. E on Instagram: DrELombardo https://www.instagram.com/drelombardo/ 

Written By Elizabeth Lombardo
Originally Appeared In Elizabeth Lombardo
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9 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist
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9 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

Elizabeth Lombardo Ph.D.

Dr. Lombardo is a Licensed Practicing Psychologist with an MS in Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in psychology who combines research findings, real-life stories, and humor to provide actionable tips that individuals can benefit from immediately. Considered Shaquille O’Neal’s “Head coach for Happiness,” Lombardo is on a mission to free people from the stress of perfectionism caused by their own inner critics. She is considered the country's most widely interviewed celebrity psychologist, with hundreds of radio and TV appearances on shows like Dr. Oz, The TODAY Show, Steve Harvey, CNN, Fox Business News, and others, and she has been quoted in media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Forbes, Women’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. Her own articles can frequently be found in SUCCESS, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Better Homes & Gardens, and other publications. Her latest book, Better Than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love, is meant to help anyone suffering from conditional self-worth or perfectionism turn down their critic’s voice, turn up their self-confidence, and gain essential skills to flourish in work, health, relationships, and life.View Author posts