Many people are driven by the need to achieve nothing but perfection. With all the progress and advancements we have right at our fingertips, it can be impossible for many of us not to be challenged by wanting to attain perfection.
Some people can be driven to do their best to a ridiculous level because it feels like it is expected of them. Their own families, peers, or the institutions they belong to seemingly challenge them to achieve perfection. The pressure can cause enormous strain on them.
However, perfectionism is not the standard that should be required of anyone, rather we should all be aspiring for progress to bring the necessary changes and growth we need in our lives.
We all need progress and growth. That is why we work every day and set goals we want to achieve. Many of us are working to achieve these goals with our best effort. This is not wrong and in fact, striving is necessary for achievement. Yet, some of us might be preoccupied, not with getting things done, but with achieving them perfectly. Setting expectations of ourselves to complete at an impossibly high standard can become a problem.
Working towards a goal can be challenging enough, but mixing it up with exceedingly high expectations makes disappointments inevitable. This often becomes the real enemy to people's progress, as well as their ability to succeed.
Unlock Your Full Potential: Explore our Personal Development Checklists
Why Perfectionism Affects Progress
A perfectionist mindset can affect the way you think, how you work, and how you view yourself. If you allow a fear of failure to take hold, then that can greatly impede your progress and ultimate success too.
Here are other reasons why perfectionism can hamper your progress.
Perfectionism Often Keeps You From Being Efficient
Someone who is a perfectionist may have the best intentions when tackling a project and put everything they have into it. This requires an extreme amount of energy, time, and resources. As a result, a perfectionist may not be efficient at all, as they can spread themselves too thin and run out of ‘oomph.’ There just isn’t enough time or energy to attain the desired end.
Perfectionism shifts the priority from getting things done effectively, to causing a project to take much longer than expected. This means that a perfectionist may appear to be inefficient as they may not be able to complete tasks on time.
Perfectionism Can Be Stressful and Impede Progress
Making everything perfect puts a person under enormous pressure. This induces worry, fear, and anxiety, especially if they are taking longer than they would like on a project. Additionally, being stressed is not conducive to working efficiently, productively or making the right decisions. Perfectionism keeps you stuck, more than it gives you the ability to move forward and progress.
Perfectionism Impacts Your Emotions and Motivation Negatively
There is definitely some emotional anxiety associated with a perfectionist mindset. When things do not happen the way you expect them to, you may become completely overwhelmed, to a point where positive action may become a challenge. Consistent action is necessary for achieving timely goals, but perfectionism can affect your level of motivation and consistency. It is necessary to think objectively and be clear-minded when approaching tasks, but this is very difficult to do when the focus is on perfection.
Perfectionism Is An Underlying Cause Of Procrastination
One of the common reasons why people procrastinate is that obtaining perfection isn’t easy. Perfectionists need circumstances to be in order before they take action, therefore, they regularly delay starting anything as a result.
A perfectionist mindset is not best matched with working on goals bound by timeframes. If beating deadlines and achieving progress is more important to you, it's often better to approach things realistically and practically. Learning to accept circumstances as they are always makes achieving goals easier.
Perfectionism Takes The Focus Out Of Progress
Some people may feel and think that they’re giving the best results needed in a given project because they are a perfectionist, but the opposite is actually true. Perfectionism takes the focus out of the actual progress and shifts it into multiple bothersome details that may not always be relevant to achieving the goal.
Learn to focus less on achieving perfection and more on taking consistent action regardless of the situation. Doing this creates more of the much-needed progress and growth needed in life.