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15 Struggles Only Perfectionists Would Understand

15 Struggles Only Perfectionists Would Understand

Being a perfectionist can come with its nightmares. It is not that it makes you less worthy, it is just that you can’t help reacting to anything below par in life. Perfectionism is not a healthy pursuit of excellence because it comes with struggles, self doubt and fears of disapproval. Perfectionism comes with several hazards such as anxiety and depression, and could be a trigger for suicide. Perfectionism has plagued celebrities like Martha Stewart, Reese Witherspoon and Barbara Streisand. As perfectionists, these are the struggles you all understand.

1.You find it difficult working in a group

Your standard of achieving goals is higher than other people’s. Thus you find it difficult working on group projects or with other people because you do not want their mediocrity or inefficiency to rub on your desire to attain perfectionism.

2.You are extremely conscious of deadlines

When you have to meet a deadline you are often burning the midnight oil or making sure you get things done in the nick of time. You have a sudden exciting rush to turn over something you are ultimately proud of. Whatever extra effort it requires doesn’t mean anything to you.

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3.You take everything to heart

Even when people make light or less thoughtful jokes at you, you tend to put in much thought to the casually poked fun. You tend to take everything to heart and such jokes could be a devastating blow to your psyche.

4.You overwork yourself because you want a perfect job

Many may not see what you have done in private, but you overwork yourself to be so flawless because you want only a perfect product on anything your name has to be attached on. This could portend a major health disaster, yet you are willing to take the risk.

5.Your past work is never good enough

Anytime you look back at your past work you tend to ask yourself, “What was I thinking back then?” You find it difficult to appreciate where you are now compared to where you were. Thus you are either throwing out old work projects or simply deleting them.

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6.You are bothered by little things

Seemingly little things like typos in an email, a Tweet or a Facebook posts from your boss can leave you disgusted. Even when your old pair of pants is darker than your new pair of blue pants, you are bothered and the rest of your day is clouded with bitterness.

7.You procrastinate

According to studies, perfectionists tend to procrastinate. When you have a big project you push it off until later, and when deadline approaches you try to execute a big project within a short time. Although perfectionism can push and motivate you with the fire to complete a good work, you only do this because you want an affirmation from others that you are great at what you do.

8.You always arrive early

You are always punctual and focused on beating every other person to being early. Yet when any other person is running late for as little as ten minutes, it drives you crazy to think about what you could be doing with such lost time rather than waiting.

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9.You think of yourself as lazy

You feel lazy because you have set such high standards and high expectations that executing and undertaking them takes longer than you planned for. And when such goals are not met, you ridicule yourself for not being good enough.

10.You take few chances

For you taking chances is tough. You don’t want to make mistakes and instead of finding reasons why you should engage in a task, you find reasons why you shouldn’t. You would only jump in on something if there is a guarantee on the outcome.

11.You are your own most severe critic

You criticize yourself so ruthlessly that it is difficult to accept criticism from others. This is because before others offer any criticism you would have recognized the issue long ago and pushed for a solution.

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12.You don’t feel accomplished until you see results

You are focused only on delivering a perfect outcome, and nothing should be short of that. If you are writing an article, it should be good enough to be a featured editorial. You don’t want shoddy, but you are focused on creating exceptional work. That is why you are spending more than the average time on improvements and details.

13. You are never a casual observer

Anything that engages you casually is not worth your time, whether it is reading a book or watching a TV show. You can’t even have a casual conversation with people about such forms of entertainment because their opinion will never be intrinsic enough.

14. You focus on efficiency

You want to make sure everything is done the right way and so you dedicate yourself to reading and studying about efficiency. If others are not efficient enough and they make a mistake, you are afraid to help because you don’t want to be seen as a know-it-all.

15. You feel like a slacker sometimes

When the day has been spent on trying to get one thing perfect, you feel like the day has been wasted. As much as you wish you could cross off five things from your to-do list you only end up crossing out one.

Featured photo credit: Roni Rosen via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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