The Perfectionism Paradox
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There is a common trait among many high-achievers: Perfectionism. Celebrated geniuses like Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Steve Jobs and even Kanye West share an obsessive commitment towards excellence.
The pursuit of excellence does have its pitfalls, and perfectionism does have the tendency to mutate into a constant striving for increasingly unrealistic goals, leading to frustration, anxiety, and a decrease in one’s productivity.
The good aspects of being perfect are intrinsic motivation, extreme focus, ambitious goals, strong work ethic and high personal standards. They are also highly coachable.
Elite performers are often perfectionists as their activity requires error-free performance.
"“Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.”
Self-criticism and a focus on eliminating errors impairs one’s performance by disrupting the natural ability to demonstrate the learned skills. This leads to a vicious circle where there is a loss of confidence and further critical analysis of one’s diminishing performance.
This leads to training inefficiency and even burnout.
"“The maxim ‘Nothing but perfection’ may be spelt 'Paralysis' .”
The darker side of perfectionism is a form of psychopathology which has been linked to many psychological problems like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic anxiety, eating disorders and even suicide.
Other factors of the bad side of perfectionism are loneliness, depression, low self-esteem and lack of life satisfaction.
"Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”
The Perfectionism and performance relationship has two basic dimensions:
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Perfectionist behavior is a broad personality trait prevalent in today's generation. It is defined as a hypercritical relationship with one's self.
Perfectionism is a growing cultural phenomenon that has engulfed a large set of people including celebrities. Some of the causes are:
Social Media acts as the biggest culprit in amplifying perfectionism as youngsters can constantly compare their looks and their lives to others in easily measurable ways.
There is an increased expectation from our family and our peers to be perfect in all aspects of our lives.
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If criticism makes you defensive, an attitude change can help.
Constructive criticism can show you how to improve, making your less-than-perfect performanc...
Perfectionists tend to set goals of unreasonable excellence with no learning curve or room for error.
Dividing your goals into more achievable steps and rewarding yourself when you achieve them, will make you less stressed, less likely to give up and more forgiving of mistakes.
Perfectionists tend to be very self-critical but this can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors and decrease their self-esteem.
By altering your self-talk positively, you can better enjoy life and gain an increased appreciation for yourself and your work.
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Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.
Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.
Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.
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“Perfect” and “productive” aren’t the same thing; perfectionism is actually counterproductive.
Just because society is placing a higher value on perfection doesn’t mean you’re actually getting more done.
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To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.
But there's also a risk: to-do lists can backfire i...
... into manageable tasks.
This way, you're armed with a set of concrete actions to take rather a vague cloud of high expectations.
... rather than all subsequent steps.
Focusing only on the next action gives you permission to work on something even if you don’t have it all figured out—which is crucial to completing tasks that in the past have left you paralyzed.
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