4 Telling Signs You're a Perfectionist

Monday, February 11, 2019

Perfectionist. "A person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection." That's how the dictionary describes it. Because I've been feeling a bit perfectionistic lately, I wanted to make one of my first posts about it with a few tips to help others who struggle with being perfectionistic themselves. So here goes...4 telling signs you're a perfectionist, and how to overcome it. 

1. You tend to procrastinate.... a lot.

This is the most basic sign that you're a perfectionist. You procrastinate. There are lots of reasons why people procrastinate, but if you're generally a person who gets things done, people recognize you as a reliable person, and you have a full to-do list... chances are that your procrastination is tied to perfectionism, and the high standards you set for yourself. It's hard to start something when you don't feel like it'll be done perfectly or even close to your standards, which leads me onto the next point.

2. You have really high expectations for yourself.

You're probably a perfectionist if you get upset at yourself for not completing your lists, for making a mistake, or for not being where you think you should be in life. Perfectionists tend to see flaws quickly and easily. It's seriously like a 6th sense. As soon as someone gives you a compliment, you're like... "Well....it should be better." It feels like bitter sweet to get the compliment, because you feel like you don't deserve it. 

3. You tend to compare yourself with others and their accomplishments. 

This one is a tough one. With all the social media scrolling we love to do, it's hard not to compare ourselves, our belongings, or our achievements with others'. Perfectionists tend to do that. Someone buys a new car, gets a new planner, or travels somewhere amazing... the perfectionist is probably on the other end thinking..."why am I not doing that? I need to _____". Fill in the blank with whatever next action step to attempt to be or do better than you're doing right now. 

4. You spend a whole lot of time worrying about things you've done or mistakes you've made.

This is the last one I want to share. If you tend to worry about that "stupid" comment you made last week when you were with a friend at dinner... chances are that you're a perfectionist. Thinking about a mistake you made and having the hardest time letting it go, and you wish you could go back and say something else instead... I get that. If you find yourself worrying about past minor mistakes and desperately wishing you could redo those interactions, you're probably a perfectionist.

 If you've identified with these things, and you think you're a perfectionist, you might be experiencing some anxiety on a regular basis; It could be performance anxiety, social anxiety, generalized, or just minor stress. What ever it might be, I want to give you a few tips I do myself or share with my clients to ease that anxiety related to perfectionism:
- Notice your body, and breathe. It's easy to be so wrapped up in stress and expectations, that you forget yourself. Take a break, notice where you are, and breathe.  
- Stop using the words, "should", "have to", and "need to". Our vocabulary can add and take away heaps of stress depending on how we use them. "Should" indicates that you're not doing something that you "need to" be doing. Trust yourself, and trust that if you actually "NEEDED" to be doing something, you would be doing it. Replace those words with, "hope to", "wish to", "intend to". There's much more grace in the wording.  
- Take a freaking break. You deserve it. Even if you feel like you don't. You don't have to wait til you've finished your ENTIRE list to take a break. Don't look at breaks as if they're rewards, see them as necessary times of rest that will sustain your capacity to be productive.

We can’t tie our identities and happiness to getting things done perfectly or marking off everything off our to do lists. I created some inserts/worksheets that are for myself and others who need gracious reminders while getting things done. They will be available in my new insert Etsy Shop in most ringed planner sizes, Monday February 18th, 2019. I hope this post was helpful! If you have any mental health or planner related topics that you'd like me to cover, let me know!

<3 MJ

1 comment

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