I realized I am a perfectionist. Only a little bit.
Here are a few things I identify with off and on:
1. Lack of motivation. Believing that the goal of “change” will never be able to be ideally or perfectly achieved can often give a perfectionist a lack of motivation to attempt change in the first place, or to persevere if change has already begun.
2. Immobilization. Because a perfectionist is often burdened with an extreme fear of failure, the person can become immobilized. With no energy, effort or creative juices applied to rectify, improve, or change the problem behavior in the person’s life, he becomes stagnant.
3. Compulsive behavior. Over-indulgence or the compulsive use of alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping, sex, smoking, risk-taking, or novelty, is often used to medicate a perfectionist who feels like a failure or loser for never being able to be “good enough” in life.
4. There is no sense in trying to do something unless I can do it perfectly, e.g., “I don’t attempt things I can’t do well.”
And last but not least………
5. It is what you achieve rather than who you are that is important.
I’ve been getting better with the last one. It’s been a hard road, but I have had some moments of self-discovery. My identity is not solely based on my achievement or ability to achieve. I am charming, hilariously funny (at times), a good friend and a patient listener. That’s me, whether I am the best in my field or not.