Perfectionism: How to Deal with It?

Do you spot flaws or imperfections others do not see? Do you place high demands on yourself and people around you? Do you set extremely high standards? In other words, are you constantly striving for perfection?

If your answer is YES!, then welcome to the club of perfectionists.
In psychology, perfectionism is defined as an unhealthy belief that anything less than perfect is unacceptable. It drives people to attempt to achieve an ideal, and that gradually turns into a compulsive idea.

On the one hand, perfectionism is frequently associated with giftedness thanks to which masterpieces are created. However, on the other hand, it may become the reason of low productivity since a lot of time and energy are wasted on small, unimportant details.

Information Developers struggle with perfectionism all the time since for them perfectionism and writing go together.

Therefore, I invite you to consider some tips that may come in handy.

Be down-to-earth

When we start working on something, we, as true perfectionists, tend to strive for achieving an absolute ideal. However, frequently, the “final ideal” is beyond our high hopes, and precious praise of your boss goes to someone less perfect than you are. Familiar situation, isn’t it? The problem is that perfectionists aim too high and, in the end, find themselves back at the bottom of the ladder. That is why keep real. Focus on what can be done. Just remember that all the great things are simple.

Dont be too hard on yourself

Perfectionists are inclined to be always dissatisfied with fruits of their labor. Moreover, they are ready to eat themselves up for any mistake or imperfection. These people suffer from constant and severe self-criticism as well as take any other criticism personally. As a result, they are extremely vulnerable and exposed to self-destruction. But, come on, that sounds absurd! Don’t let criticism ruin you. Vice versa, allow it to take you to a new level. No matter how big or small your achievements are, always praise and indulge yourself for these victories. Love yourself, and life will be much easier.


Perfectionists reckon that nobody, but they, can handle any task perfectly. That is why they rely only on themselves and trust only themselves. However, it is extremely difficult to cope with all tasks and responsibilities, especially if deadlines are tight and there is no extra time to experiment. Consequently, perfectionists have to live in constant tension, which is not surprising. Admit that there are lots of people around who are as perfect as you are or even better. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Let people help you. Delegate!

Take compliments

On the one hand, perfectionists think that they can do anything better than others can. On the other hand, they always deny their perfectness. As a matter of fact, they never take compliments. Weird people, don’t you think? If somebody enjoys your piece of work (for example, your diagram), never look for pointless excuses like ‘Well, I do not agree. It could be better’ or ‘It is trash. You simply want to indulge me’. Just take a compliment and say ‘Thank you’. Something that you consider imperfect may look quite perfect through other people’s eyes.

Don’t let Mr. Right take your time

Perfectionism wastes our time and that is undeniable truth. Constant increased focus on small unimportant details is the main reason why, for example, your e-learning video, article, or presentation can’t be finished on time or at all. You can’t eat or sleep because you do not know, let’s say, which borders for your table to choose – Thin? Thick? Green? Light green?

Being immersed in work, you experience no fun. You don’t live. You simply exist and contemplate how nights succeed days. As a result, your personal life suffers, since its most important and precious moments go completely under your radar.

Don’t turn your task into torture

Change your attitude towards what you do and enjoy it. ‘Relax, take it easy’, as Mika sings: all tasks are temporary, and you shouldn’t let excessive perfectionism turn them into eternity. Just do. Period. And no frills!

To conclude, perfectionists frequently become prisoners of their perfect imperfections.
It is good if you strive for an ideal. However, it is also important not to allow perfectionism to override your lucidity. As a matter of fact, each person has their own understanding of the ideal and, therefore, your excessive efforts can be simply underestimated.
Perfectionism may kill your creation. So don’t be too perfect and your life will be more perfect! Agree?

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