By: Kendra Kay Woods
Where are my perfectionists at? Perfectionism may sound like something that you want to aspire to but if not managed it can cause damage in many areas of your life. Most specifically it can cause damage in your career. What exactly is a perfectionist you ask? A perfectionist is someone who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. You can see where the issue lies when you read the definition because we all know that nothing is ever perfect, yet if you are a perfectionist you will try to make everything that you do perfect which can lower your productivity and performance at work. Women who carry this characteristic have to be careful because if you don’t know that you are a perfectionist you won’t be able to manage it and it can cost you in many areas of your life especially your career.
Alright, so how do you know if you are a perfectionist? I will give you a few examples so that you can assess yourself and see if you happen to fall in this category. I know for sure that I was a perfectionist (I am now a recovering perfectionist) and it took me a long time to figure it out. I just thought I had a high level of excellence but I have learned that there is a difference between the two. When I really started to address myself it became quite clear that I was a perfectionist. I want to share with you how perfectionism shows up in the workplace so that you will recognize it and know what you need to do. Below I have listed for you seven ways in which perfectionism is ruining your career:
- Procrastination – If you aren’t sure exactly how something is to be completed you will put it off until you feel certain it’s the right time or you fully understand. This leads to missing deadlines which isn’t something you want coming up on a performance review.
- It’s Never Enough – Because you are always striving for perfection you are never satisfied with your current position at work or life. When you do achieve new success you are good for a while but then you fall back in the space of not being content. This can give your colleagues and boss the wrong idea when you appear to be unhappy.
- Overly Critical – As a perfectionist you are very detail-oriented and when presented with something you immediately look for the imperfections and point them out. While this may be good in some aspects it can create an uncomfortable relationship between you and your colleagues if you are always critical about their work.
- You Won’t Ask for Help – Your need for everything to be just right will not allow you to ask for help when you need it. Asking for help means that you are not perfect and that goes against all that you stand for. This hurts you in the workplace because if you don’t open your mouth and let someone know you are struggling you are self-sabotaging yourself and the ultimate result could be failure at whatever task or project you are working on.
- Extremely High Standards– You set the standards for yourself so high it actually makes it very difficult for you to reach your goals. This causes you to be stressed and anxious about achieving what you want to achieve in life. When you are in this state everything around you suffers.
- You Spend Hours on One Task – When you have a project that you are responsible for, you tend to spend a tremendous amount of time working on it. It has to be just right and even when you think it’s okay you still go back and make tweaks. This trait will also make you miss deadlines just as I shared with procrastination.
- You Take Everything Personally – When something appears to go wrong in your world or people are unhappy about an area where you are the responsible party you take it hard. It is seen as a blow to the high standards that you set for yourself and the message that you hear is that you aren’t perfect. When this happens it takes you to an unhappy place and can even lead to depression.
Do any of the above seven items sound like you? If so, congratulations! You now know that you are a perfectionist and you can make the necessary changes to begin recovering from this condition. It is noted in research that if we allow perfectionism to run wild without addressing it, it can lead to depression, anxiety and hopelessness. This is not my wish for anyone so take heart and know that you have the ability to change that which you do not like. If you need to gain clarity in any area of your life contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 30-Minute Strategy Session.
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Keep pushing forward
Believe in yourself
With All My Love,
Kendra Kay Woods