Being A Perfectionist
The Perfect World – Do you have perfectionist traits
The perfect world means improving everything until it is faultless. A perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept anything not up to their standard. Perfection is unique to each individual’s idea of perfect. Let’s examine what it means to be a perfectionist.
There is nothing wrong with being a perfectionist because the world needs them. They naturally look for ways something can be improved. Many new inventions exist because of people with perfectionist traits.
Perfection – Warning!
If you are a perfectionist, it’s usually a mistake to express your observations about someone, without permission. People don’t like it.
This Information on Perfectionism is Useful to Everybody
I am writing this, as a perfectionist, for everybody because we are either one or we interact with people who are. This message is for all perfectionists, and people who haven’t recognised their perfectionist traits yet. We all have them, and I’m sure many people also have other characteristics that have too much control over them. Please enjoy, and share in the comments, your experiences, when and if you discover your perfectionist habits.
Perfect World – Please appreciate the following before you read further:
The information in this article is my view based on my personal experience.
Everything written in this article is open to your interpretation, and how you relate to the information is for you to choose.
I’m a natural perfectionist. It’s something I have recently recognised and accepted, as it has permeated my relation to life. The research and writing of this article has helped me to address some of my perfectionist traits that didn’t work for me.
I’m not an expert.
The media love to present experts to us to explain or verify something. An expert is someone who has, or shows, knowledge, skill and aptitude. It doesn’t mean they’re perfect and right. The perfect world is an illusion.
People often make the mistake of believing what experts say. This is how a lot of mistaken beliefs creep into our society. It’s useful to know what works or doesn’t work for you but be careful of taking on board opinions from so-called experts. It pays to verify everything for yourself with friends, family, colleagues, through the internet, etc. and not to ignore your gut feelings.
The media often present themselves as if they know the perfect world in my view. Interviewers today, use a style based on their truth or understanding, and badger people until they agree with the interviewer.
Search Google and read what others say about being a perfectionist.
The Perfect World – Introduction
I wrote this article because, one day not too long ago, I realised that being a perfectionist took up a significant part of my life. People have made various comments to me during my life, which should have been clues, but they didn’t sink in. We live in a world in which innuendo is rife. If only people were more direct, then there would be an increased
possibility of us ‘getting it.’
However, I suppose people wouldn’t listen or would choose not to hear regardless. That’s my excuse anyway. Suddenly through self-analysis, for no apparent reason, I now ‘get it.’
Quotes about a Perfect World
“It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.” Joseph Addison
“I think deeply about things and want others to do likewise. I work for ideas and learn from people. Excluding people is not me. As a perfectionist, I won’t let that get in the way of publication. Except for education and entertainment, I’m not going to waste my time on things that won’t have an impact. I try to be friends with everyone, but I hate it when you don’t take me seriously. it’s not productive to hold grudges, and my experiences are educational. My goal is to make the world a better place.” Aaron Swartz
“When it comes to perfection, the most that we could possibly do is to continuously push closer and closer to it. It is truly something to aim at, just to see how close you could get to it.” Edmond Mbiaka
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
“It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.” Samuel Johnson
Acceptance comes before Change
Once anybody accepts that something about them is real, they can examine it more closely and choose different responses. Feelings or reactions at any time driven by Your Personal Program may rarely change, but new awareness can provide different choices on how to respond in that moment.
An alcoholic in the 12-step program must admit they’re an alcoholic before they can deal with their habit. The same applies to any form of addiction. You can’t change until you accept what you are.
I accept that I’m a perfectionist in so many ways and now realise how it dominated my behaviour more than was healthy. Now I’m learning how to live and cope with it.
Perfect World – What is a Perfectionist?
A perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection or has a strong inner drive to be systematic and precise in everything they do.
I find this is a natural trait developed in early childhood for several possible reasons and not necessarily a chosen behaviour. It just is.
Words that are used to describe a perfectionist include: fastidious, fussy, strict, purist, demanding, precise, particular, critical, idealist, picky and anal.
The world needs perfectionists because they make things happen, which leads to ongoing improvements in our everyday life. Without them, many innovations would never happen.
The world needs all the other people types as well as the perfectionist. These people are just as crucial as the perfectionist. However, nobody is purely one type. Descriptions of other types include achiever, arranger, coach, conformist, counsellor, designer, energiser, enthusiast, harmoniser, individualist, innovator, inspirer, investigator, persuader, practitioner and trailblazer.
You’ll probably have at least one or two dominant type characteristics and aspects of the others. I believe it’s valuable to know which traits you possess. However, this article is about perfection, something we all possess to a certain degree. Too much is probably not very useful. It would be like going down a river and being stuck on the edge, going nowhere.
How Can It Affect Us?
I’ll share the perfectionist aspects that I observe impact my behaviour even if I haven’t dealt with them yet. Changing some of my natural expressions is not easy because they have been with me for a long time. I’m focussing on those aspects where I have expectations of others.
Facts and Rules
It’s difficult to accept something when I know 100% it’s not true. It can often lead to arguments, even if I prove the point through a rule book or something similar. I know now that, unless it has a direct impact on me, it must be let go, because it isn’t worth it (being right even when right). Being a golfer doesn’t help when I’m a perfectionist. Golf rules are open to interpretation, and some people view this in very different ways. I can categorically say that some people play their own rules and best if no more said on this topic. Again, unless it affects me, wise to let it go.
Out of Place
If a light is left on, a piece of paper is on the floor, a door left ajar, something isn’t put away in its usual place, and so on, it bugs me automatically. I feel compelled to fix it! I don’t know where this comes from, but it’s deep in my subconscious. These are all areas I can work on and choose different responses. The answer is to act without judging others by making them wrong.
I always naturally want to get to my destination in the fastest and most efficient way. This means anybody in my way is guilty of bad driving or doing something wrong. I get quite aggressive and verbally take it out on other drivers, (not directly of course!) and accuse them of bad driving in so many ways.
Traffic lights get attacked when not in my favour.
It’s worse when I’m late.
I’m dealing with this quite well now, and driving is a more relaxed journey. Even better, I’m more aware of the surroundings for a change, and I can laugh, instead of slipping back into old habits. I may be better, but this doesn’t mean I’ve dealt with it completely!
Writing and Reading
If you want your writing checked, then choose a perfectionist because they’ll read it for you and find the errors. Don’t say anything if you think they’re wrong because they’re likely to argue. It’s easier to check the areas of difference with someone else. However, they’ll find the errors for you.
Anything I write is a pain because every time I read it, I find errors or other ways of saying the same thing because I think it sounds better or is more accurate. It takes so long that I get bored and often end up with material that still has errors. Whenever I find an error, even after it’s published, I nevertheless can’t stop correcting it. This is something that I’m unlikely to change and probably don’t want to because this must be the pure perfectionist in action and is likely to continue.
One day while playing golf, somebody asked me, “Why do you keep working on your game?” I laughed and said, “Because I always want to improve, and it’s imperative to try things if I’m to achieve my goal.” A long-time afterwards, the same person complained to someone else that I seemed to win a lot of competitions. He could too if he worked on his game instead of criticising others! Perhaps he was a perfectionist also? My goal is to have a single-digit handicap at least once in my life. At my going rate, this is looking less likely.
Perfect World – What to Avoid
There are some things a perfectionist should probably avoid unless they’re very good at them because they’ll never be satisfied. What to avoid depends on you.
When you recognise you are a perfectionist, embrace it. You are a valuable commodity. You are capable of going further than people who aren’t. Perfectionists see things others don’t. You see possibilities naturally. Just remember not to lay your idiosyncrasies on other people.