The Art of Perfectionism

Do you see yourself as a perfectionist? Are you constrained to succeed?

Do you find it hard to live up to your expectations? Are you meticulous or coherent in your work approach?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, it simply means there is a huge probability you might have a perfectionist personality type.

Based on the Enneagram personality type valuation, perfectionists are a bunch of objective and fair individuals who aim to live a perfect life. They like to be orderly, thorough and accurate. They refer to themselves as a principled and rational set of people and want others to rely on them and see them as a hardworking and responsible set of people. Perfectionist love setting high goals. They are goal getters, they have a very huge sense of purpose. They always want to excel in whatever they lay their hands on. They sometimes appear to be judgmental and critical because they are very detailed oriented and disciplined. They easily get frustrated by people especially if they feel others are not putting their all in whatever is being carried out. People with such personality traits have a lot of low self-esteem issues.

The types of perfectionism Psychology has made us understand that there are 3 kinds of perfectionism namely; other-oriented, self-oriented, socially prescribed.

Self-oriented perfectionists are a bunch of individuals who are driven to succeed and avoid personal failure at every opportunity.

Other-oriented perfectionists are a set of individuals who are critical and judgmental of others. They have the habit of setting expectations that are unrealistic to their friends, children, co-workers and spouses.

Socially prescribed perfectionists are the ones who believe the society should see them as an elite class because no one can measure up to their standards.

How does one overcome perfectionism? First of all, setting a high standard for yourself basically is not a bad idea. Being determined to excel in whatever you do shows that you possess the strength of character and a good work ethic. Higher standards can motivate you to reach your peak level. For instance, sportsmen often have to endure long and hard training to excel and get better in their field of expertise. However, perfectionism has to do with setting a standard that is so high, it cannot be met or you have to pass through the eye of a needle to meet it. Perfectionists believe so much in perfection, it is their school of thought that even the slightest imperfection is disastrous. For instance, to the ordinary man, mistakes are inevitable and affords one the opportunity to learn and get better. To the perfectionist, mistakes are not allowed because to them, it means they have failed or let others down. One of the steps to overcome perfectionism is to set realistic targets or goals. Lowering your standard doesn’t mean you have no standard. Setting a realistic standard will afford you the opportunity to perform at your best without costing you things that may be of great importance to you such as; mental and physical health, family life and leisure time.

Learn to recognize perfectionism by answering the questions below

  • Have you ever been told that your standards are too high?
  • Do you find it difficult meeting your standards?
  • Do your standards get in your way, making it difficult for you to trust people; meet deadlines; finish a task?
  • Do you sometimes feel depressed, angry or anxious while striving to meet the standards you have set for yourself?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have an issue with perfectionism; get in touch with us for more insights to perfectionism.