Do you consider being a perfectionist a strength?
Doing well is important, no doubt. But as a perfectionist, the challenge is that you may never think you’ve done well enough. You find it hard to appreciate your accomplishments because you focus more on what you haven’t achieved. Or, you compare your achievements to the artificially retouched and edited versions of others’ lives on social media and decide you aren’t actually living up to high standards after all.
Sometimes it feels like your life is a never-ending treadmill that stopped being fun a long time ago. Despite the high standards you set, you never feel finished with your projects because you continually think of things you should do to improve the final result.
It is constraining to constantly be thinking about all the things you should do, or do better, or do again.
For instance, you decide you want to go on an exciting and enjoyable trip, but then your perfectionist brain goes to work and it immediately becomes a stressful prospect. You will have to find a lovely place to stay, with all the right amenities, in the most centrally-located spot, at the best price, during the time of year offering the most ideal weather, with the most convenient and affordable travel to and from the place. And all of that is just to get you there, so those stresses are only the tip of the iceberg. Once you work out all those details, you realize you need the perfect clothes to wear or the trip will be ruined. Your stress spikes again as you judge your closet, and later, as you judge yourself in the harsh florescent department store lights as you look in the dressing room mirror. And on and on it goes.
The trip is an analogy for every aspect of your life—college, a party, a date, buying a home, planning a wedding, creating an exercise routine, finding a job, and even grocery shopping. Everything you do is haunted by the idea that you will need to do it perfectly.