Overcoming perfectionism is a challenge for some of the smartest people I know. I know a few people who confess to being perfectionists, however, I believe so many people confuse perfectionism with having high standards.
Having high standards is not the problem. If your standards are so high that they are unattainable, cause hard deadlines to pass or prevent a project from ever being finished; then it is a problem. That is perfectionism.
Many psychologists see perfectionism as the cause of some indecision, procrastination and ultimately shame (Psychology Today). So, if you’re a perfectionist, you’re also a procrastinator.
Lisa Firestone (PhD and clinical psychologist) points out in her article that, ironically, perfectionism can ultimately lead to a decrease in our actual performance and abilities. Lisa goes on to suggest that overcoming perfectionism starts with addressing personal insecurities and becoming more self accepting.
According to Anxiety Treatment Australia, perfectionism is often associated with either anxiety or depression. If you believe that’s the case for you, then you should seek treatment for your condition.
You need to recognise and start overcoming perfectionism if it is impacting your life. It is often driven by fear of failure, however, you might be destined for failure anyway if you don’t get your fears under control.
As I point out in my book, Time to Start, the perfect sales presentation is pointless if you miss the meeting. The perfect academic assignment is worth nothing of you miss the due date. A recruiter will usually not look at the perfect resume if it is submitted after the cut off date.
Perfectionism is procrastination in disguise.