Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

Is Perfectionism a Curse – 3 Ways to tell if your obsessed

Perfectionism takes many forms and can have both positive and negative effects. It can be about tidiness, work, relationships or more.

For me being a neat and clean freak is definitely not my obsessive compulsive issue, but being a perfectionist about my work and my expectations within my relationships can certainly cause me issues.

I set the bar high, particularly on the work front and I have come to see perfectionism can often be a curse. Sometimes, near enough just isn’t good enough in my book. Don’t ask me why. It could be a learnt behaviour or maybe it is genetic.

Getting things accurate or ‘perfect’ isn’t all bad, sometimes it is necessary. Perfectionism is what drives scientist to find cures or people to be agents of change. Sometimes working out if perfectionism has gone too far can be very difficult, so I have come up with three questions I use to test if my perfectionism is being good, or being bad?

  • Is my perfectionism having a negative impact on those close to me?
  • Is my perfectionism causing me to feel bad about myself?
  • Is my perfectionism making me overly critical of others?

If I can answer yes to any of these questions then my perfectionism has become a curse. This is when I have to ask myself ‘what am I afraid of?’ Usually the answer is the fear of losing control. It is a little ironic because it is a lack of self control which has allowed my perfectionism to get out of control in the first place. Just realising this is usually enough to get me back on track.

Are you a perfectionist at times? How do you know when you have gone too far?


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