Overcome Perfectionism: Exploring Two Types of Perfectionists

How often have you delayed your decision because you think it’s wrong?


How many times have you canceled a project or procrastinated on a task because you’re trying to perfect it? Most people fall into this trap and find that their only weakness is that they’re perfectionists.


There’s a quote that reads, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of people” by Anne Lamott.


Putting too much focus on perfecting tasks will not move you out of your comfort zone. Instead, you’ll find yourself stuck in the delay of making tweaks and changes here and there, without any progression.


So how do we find the balance between creating ‘perfect’ tasks and projects without delaying it?


Psychologists split perfectionism into two types: Adaptive Perfectionism and Maladaptive Perfectionism.

Adaptive perfectionism leads to achieving goals. People who depend on adaptive perfectionism are motivated by high standards. They pursue their goals without compromising their self-esteem. They invest time and effort in projects that require a lot of attention and focus.


However, maladaptive perfectionism leads to anxiety and sometimes depression. It meets unrealistic standards. Thinking about things in detail prevents you from moving on.


Maladaptive perfectionism drives procrastination because you’re trying to think of the perfect ideas. Things become so hard to get started on, and tasks see no momentum.


What makes you resort to maladaptive perfectionism?

● You are worried about being judged.

● No one will notice that you’ve developed and improved your idea. If so? Why not? What is the problem? You have learned something new and applied it to test it.

● Having plenty of resources available to look at and learn from could confuse you and make it hard to choose, and constant tweaking takes too long, leading to procrastination.

● In addition, many successful people sharing their stories on social media show the results only, but no one shows the dark black side they suffer until they reach. So this adds to the pressure of being as perfect as them.


So, how do you overcome perfectionism?

● Keep in your mind that no one is perfect, and no ideal ideas start once.

● Do not fear failure. Embrace mistakes and develop your skills.

● Be standard and allow your work to become a mess. You will learn from mistakes. Just like when you were a kid, you were learning to walk. You tried several times to walk. First, you lean on a chair or sofa and take slow steps, and then you fall, until you learn to walk alone. Small steps first and then you run.


“Write with the door closed and rewrite with the door open” Stephen King

● Just write your prototype and then get constructive feedback.

● To avoid meandering, work with deadlines and focus on a specific time to finish your work.

● Acknowledge your improvement. If you get 1% of the process complete, your feeling will improve over time and encourage you to keep going.

● Never wait for the right time because the right time never comes.


Remember! You are your own worst critic. You become your biggest judge, you become your jailer.


Change the way you think, and change the way you behave.


Perfectionism will kill your dream. Go for progress, not perfection. Keep yourself in a growth-oriented mindset.