Perfectionism Could Be Your Greatest Weakness

By Focusing Solely On A Destination, You May Miss The Journey



  • “All-or-Nothing” Thinking: Perfectionists accept nothing less than perfection. “Almost perfect” is seen as a failure.
  • Critical Eye: Perfectionists spot tiny mistakes and imperfections in their work and in themselves, as well as in others and their work. They hone in on these imperfections and have trouble seeing anything else, and they’re more judgmental and hard on themselves and on others when “failure” does occur.
  • “Push” vs. “Pull”: Perfectionists tend to be pushed toward their goals by a fear of not reaching them, and they see anything less than perfect as a failure.
  • Unrealistic Standards: Perfectionists set their initial goals out of reach.
  • Focus on Results: Perfectionists see the goal and nothing else. They’re so concerned about the destination and avoiding the dreaded failure that they can’t enjoy the journey.
  • Depressed by Unmet Goals: Perfectionists tend to wallow in negative feelings when their high expectations aren’t met.
  • Fear of Failure: Perfectionists place so much stock in results and become so disappointed by anything less than perfection that failure becomes a very scary prospect.
  • Procrastination: Fearing failure as they do, perfectionists will sometimes worry so much about doing something imperfectly that they become immobilized and fail to do anything at all.
  • Defensiveness: Perfectionists tend to take constructive criticism defensively.
  • Low Self-Esteem: Perfectionists tend to be very self-critical and unhappy and suffer from low self-esteem. They can also be lonely or isolated as their critical nature and rigidity can push others away as well.


If you still can’t determine whether you’re a perfectionist or just dabbling in some of these tendencies, there are online resources to test your perfectionism. I have added all of these to my Resources page for future reference.



  • Appreciate the positives while recognizing the negatives.
  • Give them the right job where their fastidiousness will be appreciated.
  • Increase their self-awareness and show them that letting go of perfect is a step toward achieving their big-picture goals.
  • Find mentors who are reformed perfectionists themselves who can serve as role models.
  • Shy away from giving negative feedback — instead ask for the perfectionist’s advice on how to deliver input effectively for them.




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Alexis Maida

Alexis is an experienced executive with 15+ years of expertise in strategy, communications, branding, marketing and wellness.