Do you find yourself stuck with indecision most of the time? Is it hard for you to choose from among alternatives because you keep on thinking of the consequences?
If you do, you might be a perfectionist.
Perfectionists are the kind who set very high standards for themselves, desire for control, criticize oneself when expectations are not met, and are achievement oriented because their self-worth is contingent on performing well in various areas of life.
Those who experienced getting stuck with this tendency know how a life-sucker it can be. While these people appear to be a success, the feeling that “it’s not enough” keeps them on the edge and therefore makes them unstable.
These are individuals who appear to be highly sensitive, people-pleasing, and control-seeking. They are very disciplined, organized, overly-conscientious, all for the sake of control and validation which may come in the form of high grades, many awards, a body in perfect shape, a tidy home, and so on.
But perfectionism, when left unchecked, stifles authenticity and makes the person guarded, judgmental, and not very easy to be with. Around these people, we may feel inadequate and unable to connect with them.
While it may help make one become “successful”, it will eventually boomerang because one can never run away from flaws and mistakes; it is part of the human experience. As long as we are alive, there are times that we feel messy and imperfect. Our flaws allow us to connect with one another.
Perfectionists find it hard to make decisions. Every decision needs to be well thought of since one wrong choice may lead to a breakdown of a series of outcomes that are required to get that desired result.
In extreme cases, even occasions that necessitate small decisions that ought to be simple brings intense agony to the individual. I have clients who are bright and competent but end up living below expectations because making decisions are dangerous and a risk to them.
But what if we were not so demanding of ourselves? What if we allow mistakes and look at them as a learning experience? What if we look at our embarrassment as temporary and focus on the positive change it can bring?
It is important to understand that we are “enough” and wherever we are now is exactly where we are now. This does not mean we stop moving forward or achieve for more. No, not at all. But rather, it is simply acknowledging that there are more important things than being perfect, and that striving to be one will lead to nowhere but discover more imperfection.
So, learn to make decisions and manage to live with it.