February 18, 2019

What is Perfectionism?

I don't like to admit it, but I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. Or maybe an imperfect perfectionist. I am that person who will not start on a project because I'm trying to iron out all the tiny details first, waiting for everything to be perfect before I even start. I am that person who would rather wait until I have everything in place before I take a step forward.

I recently started looking for a new job, and I have been considering a career transition. I did a little bit of research and noted that some certifications may be necessary, but only AFTER you have worked in that field for a specified amount of time. There is one certification that can be taken without any work experience, but is not required. I did some research and asked people in that field if I should take the exam. Every single one of them said NO, because it is completely unnecessary. However, the perfectionist in me chose not to believe actual professionals, and I spent another 2 or 3 weeks trying to decide on whether to just go ahead and sit for the exam. It took me speaking to one of my supervisors, who said to me, "Why are you trying to be perfect? You do realize you will get on-the-job training, so why are you running around like an indecisive headless chicken? Just start applying! You have already wasted time these past few weeks."

The short discussion I had with him switched a light bulb on for me. In many aspects of life, I am far from perfect (you guys know this already as I share my struggles easily) but in other regards, I would rather wait for things to line up perfectly, or fall into place before I act.

There are many ideas I have had in my life that I never pursued because of it. Even now, I barely allow myself to think about the different things I want to do, because I'm worried about doing it incorrectly or failing. What I need to recognize is that more often than not, I need to JUST START. The longer I hem and haw about whether everything is just right, the slower I am to pursuing my ideas and dreams.

I saw the quote above from this website, and BOY, is that right or is it right??? If I really get down to the bottom of it, what stops me from trying to move forward is fear masked as perfection and wanting things to be in line. What's really stopping me from moving forward is a fear of failure, and feeling like I am not good enough to even try...

Have you dealt with fear or perfectionism in the past? How did you deal with it?


  1. I am a perfectionist-I like all the details to be in perfect alignment and it worked out at the beginning of my life, but now that I'm older i realized that it has held me back from dong certain things. This year I've been intentional about getting things done by realizing done is better perfect although its still hard. I still have to rearrange my room before i can write, still do things in sequence, brush before i bathe but on the days I fail to get it perfect I repeat a 100 times to myself I did it even if the tenses were wrong in the blog post I submitted it, I saved #4000 instead of #5000, I said one prayer, read one word even if I've fallen off my bible reading plan-just GO, sleep, wake, repeat!

    1. "Done is Better than Perfect"


      I'm just like you - if I haven't done one thing that's on my list, the rest of the list usually suffers because "I haven't done this one thing perfectly yet." But all it's doing is prolonging the time before I get ANYTHING done.

      Thanks for your comment, and sharing how you're working on your perfectionism.


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