More often than not, people think that being a perfectionist is a bad thing. If someone called you a ‘perfectionist’, then you might see it as detrimental, but that’s not always the case. There are such things as healthy perfectionists, who use these personality traits to their advantage. If you want to become a healthy perfectionist, then you will need to master three key behaviors. Tick these boxes, and you’ll never mind someone calling you a perfectionist again.
Knowing the difference between aspiration and success
What does success mean to you? Be honest now. If you’re a perfectionist then perhaps you’ve been suckered in by the glossy magazine version of success. Clutching your Starbucks with your perfectly manicured nails, power walking to a six-figure salary job, wearing your Louboutins and snapping the ultimate Instagram shot along the way. Is this realistic? Is this actually what success means to you? Or is this some kind media fuelled aspiration? If you sit down and think about what you actually want, and what success means to you, you might find that it is something completely different. Perhaps success is making enough money to retire early or spending more time with your loved ones. Know the difference between what the media tells you success is (aspiration) and what success actually means to you.
Knowing how to make success personal
Following along the same lines, a healthy perfectionist knows how to make success personal to them. They don’t compare their ideals to someone or something else. They don’t think “What does society say is a successful career?” they say, “What does a successful career look like, for me, at this point in my life.” They know how to constantly reevaluate their goals and dreams, to keep following on the path of personal success. You will be able to cater your ‘perfect’ to your particular situation at any one time. You know that not everyone’s idea of perfect is the same as yours. If you want to become a healthy perfectionist, then this is a really important lesson to learn.
Knowing when not to blame yourself for everything
One of the biggest parts of being an unhealthy perfectionist is that you’re going to blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong. Even if that particular thing is out of your control, chances are you’ll find a way to make it your fault. If you want to be a healthy perfectionist, then you need to outsource your disappointment. Step back from the situation and work out exactly what went wrong. Which aspects of this had something to do with you? And how much of it was out of your control? Understand that while it may be unfortunate that this thing happened, it was out of your control and there’s nothing you can do about it. A healthy perfectionist won’t beat themselves up for things they can’t change.
The next time someone sneers at you for being a perfectionist, don’t get offended. Instead, consider how you can turn this into a positive thing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be successful (and working hard to get there), but you have to ensure you’re following the path that’s right for you. Make sure you tick all of these boxes, and you’re well on your way to making perfectionism work for you.