How do you know if you’re suffering from perfectionism versus having high standards?
Here are some test questions you can ask yourself that might help you see the difference:

Standards I set:

  • Do I routinely disappoint myself when I’m trying to live up to the standards I have set?
  • Do I ever live up to the standards I have set?

Perfectionist feelings:

  • What is my emotional reaction when I fail to live up to those standards? Am I angry at myself? Frustrated? Depressed? Am I anxious that others will notice my failures? Do I hate myself?
  • Are others concerned for me or put off by self-directed goals?

Perfectionist thinking:

  • Am I purely binary in my thinking – either I have achieved my goal or I’ve failed – without any room for “good enough”?
  • Do I fear the humiliation of failure (or even slightly-less-than-perfection) in front of others?
  • Do I blow consequences out of proportion? (“If I don’t memorize my entire presentation and have to glance at cue cards my boss will fire me.”)
  • Do I never leave room for mistakes? (“I should always get an A+ or I’m a failure.” “I should never have a wrinkle in my suit.”)

Perfectionist behaviour:

  • Do I avoid new experiences because I won’t be good at them (and others will be able to see how bad I am)?
  • Do the goals I’ve set actually seem to hinder my performance because I’m too cautious?
  • Do I live my life according to lists, scheduling myself right down to the smallest activities of the day (how much time I watch t.v., when and for how long I’m in the shower, etc.)?
  • Is it difficult for me to make decisions, even when it’s something small like which flavour of ice cream to have because I’m afraid of missing out on the “better” choice?

 

Pin It on Pinterest