And trying to be could cost you your job, your family - and even your LIFE! According to research we found in Glee Magazine, perfectionists pay a huge price for their accomplishments. They’re more likely to suffer from eating disorders, depression, divorce, and they have a high rate of suicide.
Why? According to Dr. Gordon Flett of York University, perfectionists can’t tolerate any flaws, so they’re permanently anxious. And their success doesn’t bring them any satisfaction, because they focus on what went wrong.
Flett says if you hold yourself to a high standard in just one area of your life - like work, a hobby, or your golf game, you’re probably okay. But hard-core perfectionists demand the highest standards in every part of their life. They could have an incredible day at work and come home to obsess about how the house needs painting.
Sound familiar? If your expectations are over the top, here’s what you can do:
First: Set realistic goals. If you try to exercise for an hour and can’t do it, the realistic approach is to set an intermediate goal - say 30 minutes. Perfectionists in that situation tend to raise the bar. For example, the next day they’d try for 40 minutes. But that’ll only exhaust and frustrate you. So learn to compromise.
Next: Distinguish between doing well and being perfect. One is possible - and leads to feelings of success. The other can’t be done and causes frustration and anxiety. Understand the difference.
And finally: To kick your perfectionist ways. listen to those close to you. They probably have a more realistic take on the quality of your performance than you do. If they say you’ve done a great job on something, or that you need to slow down, don’t be so quick to dismiss them.
Here’s the deal: Giving up being perfect doesn’t mean you’ll give up accomplishing things. It just means you’ll be happier with your accomplishments.