The Downside of Being a Perfectionist

The Downside of Being a Perfectionist

Back in high school, being a perfectionist seemed like a positive asset. Perfectionism meant good attention to detail, which inevitably would lead to a higher grade on an assignment. At work that attention to detail meant getting the job done right the first time and being rewarded with more hours. While this can be nice, it is not always a good thing to be a perfectionist.

– Limit growth

Much of our growth as students and humans in general is rooted in failure. Trying to outrun failure limits the lessons we can learn. Failure is a good thing that should be embraced. We are not meant to be perfect when first trying something new. In the words of Samuel Beckett, “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

– Cannot live in the moment

Being dedicated is a good thing, but not when it begins to impact other parts of your life. It is good to take pride in your work and try hard, but beware of crossing the line that puts extra pressure on you.

– Stress

Stress is a natural part of life, but being a perfectionist adds more stress to your shoulders. Learning to loosen the reins will increase your quality of life. A few points on an assignment is not worth wounding your mental health.

– Set up for failure

Perfection does not exist. It does not matter how much time and effort you put into an assignment; it could always be better. If you are determined to do everything perfectly, you will never get anything done.

– Miss the big picture

When we are hyper-focused on minuscule details, we can easily miss the whole picture. Trying to get the perfect sentence structure is frivolous in an essay if you do not know what point you are trying to convey.


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