: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable
especially : the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness
Alright. I admit it. I am a perfectionist.
I’m the girl who will silently correct your grammar within her head, who will clean when she’s stressed, and always has to be doing something to better herself or her education.
I’ve always considered this just a part of my personality, as though I was an abnormally high-achiever or someone who just liked to make sure I was doing things right. I never thought of it as a detrimental thing. In fact, I often joked that I was a “perfectionist” instead of actually believing I was one.
And I will admit that when people read my work and they don’t like it, or disagree, I get upset that it isn’t “perfect.” For a little while, anyway. I set unreasonable goals for myself—like finishing a novel and taking an advanced load of classes while I release my first book (while looking into grad schools).
Perfectionism is a psychological disease because no matter how successful you are, no matter what you have accomplished, you are not satisfied. According to psychologists, it’s hard for perfectionists to ever be fully happy because they are always looking for something better. They suffer from depression, OCD, eating disorders, and other medical problems.
Even as a little kid, my greatest fear was “failure,” and it has followed me very much into my young adult life. However, I’ve finally recognized that I will never reach perfection—and that setting perfection as my goal in life is not accomplishing anything but failure.
Perfectionists have done some amazing things. Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Hilary Clinton, and (chuckle) Mr. Darcy have all been thought to be perfectionists. Without that drive, we wouldn’t have some of the amazing works we have today.
What about you? Are you a perfectionist? How has that helped/harmed you?
♪ Snow Patrol – Final Straw – Run ♪