The Disadvantages of Being a Perfectionist

Pushing yourself to be perfect at work can cause anxiety, dysfunction and miscommunication.

Pushing yourself to be perfect at work can cause anxiety, dysfunction and miscommunication.

Perfectionism: It might have seemed like an ideal aspiration as a child, but in the collaborative working world, it can be a nightmare. Imagine colleagues trying to navigate around a coworker who can't stand the slightest flaw or inconsistency. Nothing would ever get done. While perfectionism takes a toll on the individual, it also wreaks havoc on the workplace if taken to extremes.

Stress

Perfectionism creates stress, because realistically creating a perfect product demands perfect conditions. These conditions won't always be present in the workplace. Distractions, sudden interruptions and unexpected new developments will constantly shift production and change your day. Perfectionism can create a great deal of stress because you'll have a difficult time getting tasks accomplished if you're unable to do them with precision and perfection.

Creating Larger Problems

Perfectionism can actually be a downfall rather than a driving force toward success. Perfectionism can lead to anxiety, eating disorders and depression because it can create brutal self-criticism. If you find that you are a harsh self-critic, you may be getting in your own way when it comes to finding success.

Inability to Ask for Help

A 2012 study cited in Body and Soul reveals that perfectionists have trouble asking for help from others. In a workplace that demands teamwork and collaboration, this can cause major dysfunction. If you need your work to be perfect, you're unlikely to be willing to let other hands touch it, change it or add input.

Coping with Perfectionism

Unhealthy perfectionism is the kind that drives you over the line into obsessive territory. If you call yourself a perfectionist, it's a good sign. It means that you're familiar with the healthy and unhealthy sides of the trait, and you probably understand how to remain balanced. But perfect is not always better, and if you're constantly worried about making mistakes, you could be inhibiting your natural talents and abilities. Strike a balance to value quality and efficiency equally so you create healthy boundaries around work projects. A healthy sense of ambition drives positive action. An imbalanced sense of self-standards produces anxiety and hardship.

 

About the Author

Jan Archer holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a master's degree in creative writing. Roth has written trade books for Books-a-Million and has published articles on green living, wellness and education topics. She taught business writing, literature, creative writing and English composition at the college level for five years.

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