8 Tell-Tale Signs Perfectionism Is Negatively Affecting Your Life

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8 Tell-Tale Signs Perfectionism Is Negatively Affecting Your Life

You've got a job interview and they ask you about your strengths and weaknesses. So which one does perfectionism fall under? To your dismay, it's usually the latter.

But why is that? Perfectionism means that you complete your task impeccably without any sign of error. The only problem is that you never seem to be able to reach that goal of perfection.  

Take a look at these five signs on how being a perfectionist is affecting your mental and physical well-being.

8. Fixation

You just can't seem to let things go. For example, you'll be lying on your bed, ready to go to sleep, when you remember that new ingredient you added to the pasta dinner that everyone complained about yesterday. You don't recall all the things you did right that day or all the amazing previous dinners you've made, you only fixate on that one thing you did wrong for hours and hours until your brain decides to slip into unconsciousness without your effort.

Fixating will only make things worse, giving you the feeling that you're going crazy, and it usually exacerbates the next thing on the list.

7. Procrastination

It'll never be finished to your standards, so what's the point? You'll be working on a project but nothing seems to be coming together the way you envisioned it'd be. Also, you won't stop until you reach that desired outcome. Sometimes you'll purposely scrap the project you're working on so you don't have to deal with the flood of doubt that'll come after.

Procrastination is the byproduct of the next sign of perfectionism on this list.

6. Validation

The reason why you can't get anything done is because you need someone to tell you it's good enough. Seeking constant approval can be tiring and frustrating, but its one of the remedies to put your thoughts of doubt at ease.

You must remind yourself that everyone has a different idea of "perfection." So even if you think you've come close enough to it, it may not be what someone else envisioned. And that's okay, trust me. It's a world full of different ideas that makes life more interesting.

5. Demanding too much

It's not only you who needs to sculpt perfection, you require others to adhere to your 'perfect' standards as well. The only reason you feel that way is because you want the job to be done right. Fair enough, but, as mentioned before, everyone has a different idea of perfection.

This constant battle of demanding people to be on the same page as you will only frustrate you further and make you feel like the world is against you.

This leads us to the next sign ...

4. Control-freak

You're a control-freak. Some may call you stubborn or unwilling to cooperate with others. I'm sure you hate being called either of those words. It also means you probably despise group projects, so you'll be taking on much more responsibility.

This added weight on your shoulders will only increase your anxiety, in turn exacerbating your perfectionist tendencies. It may lead you to do the next thing on this list ...

3. "All or nothing" mentality

This way of thinking can be quite damaging to both your physical and mental well-being. Let's say you're on a diet and you've been going strong for a week. Then you eat a double-chocolate brownie. OK, now it's game over and you start eating several more. Say goodbye to your diet and another hello to eating unhealthy.

Here's a scenario at work: Your co-worker says something condescending for the first time, then immediately after she leaves you say to another co-worker "She's always so rude."

Thinking and behaving in polar opposites is like the world becoming black or white. You disrupt that balance beam and will lead you to 'beat yourself up' over small matters rather than lift yourself up.  

2. Creating barriers

If everything you do has to be perfect, you're probably searching for perfect friends, or maybe you're not searching at all. All you know is that your circle of friends stays the same or is getting smaller. To your dismay, perfect people don't exist. By expecting people to be a certain way, you're only bound to be disappointed.

And it all comes down to the next sign ...

1. The idea of being a perfectionist

Just the thought of perfection annoys you, but you can't help it. You look in the mirror and the world seems to be sprawled in invisible ink on your forehead. You know there's something that's inhibiting you from living the life you desire, but it's hard to just let go and live it. The fact of the matter is that pursuing perfection will ultimately lead to your downfall.

You've heard it a million times before, but I'll say it again--don't stress. The thing that spins the world around is not perfect things or people, it's actually just the opposite.

How many of these can you relate to? Are any of these traits holding you back?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.