Are you a perfectionist (P) or a high achiever (HA)? Many will say they are the same. But they are not.
*Do you set high goals and work hard toward them? Can you be satisfied with doing a great job and achieving excellence (or something close), even if your very high goals aren’t completely met (HA)? Or do you need it to be perfect and anything less is considered failure(P)?
*Do you take pride in their accomplishments and tend to be supportive of others (HA)? Or do you tend to spot tiny mistakes and imperfections in your work, yourself, as well as in others and their work(P)?
*Are you being pulled toward your goals by a desire to achieve them and are happy with any steps made in the right direction (HA)? Or do tend to be pushed toward your goals by a fear of not reaching them and see anything less than a perfectly met goal as a failure (P)?
*How reasonable are your goals? Are they within reach with a bit of a challenge (HA)? Or are your goals so far out of reach it would be almost impossible to get there (P)?
*Do you enjoy the process of chasing a goal as much or more than the actual reaching of the goal itself (HA)? Or do you see the goal and nothing else (P)?
*Can you bounce back easily from disappointment (HA)? Or do you beat yourself up and wallow in negative feelings when your lofty expectations go unmet (P)?
*Do you have self-esteem (HA)? Are you self-critical, unhappy, and suffer low self-esteem(P)?
Because we place so much stock in results and become so disappointed by anything less than perfection, failure becomes a very scary prospect. Since anything less than perfection is seen as ‘failure’, this can lead to procrastination.
*Are you a procrastinator (P)? Are you overly fearful of failure (P)?
*Do you take constructive criticism defensively (P)? Or do you see criticism as valuable information to help your future performance (HA)?
Do you have some of the traits found in perfectionists? If so, don’t despair. Recognizing that a change may be needed is a very important first step toward creating a more easygoing nature and achieving the inner peace and real success that comes from overcoming perfectionism and being able to say that ‘almost perfect’ is still a job very well done.
Until next time….
Change. Discover. Transform.
Carla Carter, Ed.D., LCPC, CMPC, EMDR Certified