6 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

6 Signs You Might Be a Perfectionist

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.

Brené Brown


It’s a label that many of us have assigned to that friend, that family member, that supervisor at work.

But, what if you’re a perfectionist? Ever been curious about that? And how can you even tell?

Today we’re sharing 6 signs you might be a perfectionist:

1. You struggle to let go of mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable, yet each one feels like a painful, new failure to you. If you tend to have a hard time seeing a mistake as an opportunity for growth, or struggle to forgive yourself for making one in the first place, then you might be a perfectionist.

2. You find it hard to be vulnerable with others

You recognize that you’re only human, but you don’t feel able to show your vulnerabilities to others. You might fear judgment, shame, or rejection, and this makes it difficult to develop intimacy in your relationships. If you believe your perceived likability and acceptance from others are tied to how flawless you appear, then you might be a perfectionist.

3. You have trouble internalizing positive feedback

You aced the test, scored the winning goal, won the promotion. But, somehow, all you can focus on are errors and unreached potential. If you tend to discount the positive in your life in favor of focusing on the negative, then you might be a perfectionist.

4. You avoid challenges

For people who see mistake-making as a necessary path to growth, a new challenge is an appealing prospect. But for someone who struggles with perfectionism, challenges are dangerous situations that pose the risk of failure. If you avoid challenging situations for fear of under-performing or being exposed as a “fraud”, then you might be a perfectionist.

5. You consider yourself a procrastinator

Perhaps you’ve never really identified with the idea of “perfectionism”. What you DO identify with? Procrastination. Whether it’s a major project or a quick reply to a text message, you seem to constantly be up against a deadline, wrestling with avoidance. If you tend to put things off until the last minute, then you might be a perfectionist.

6. You feel dissatisfied

Intellectually, you know you’ve got so much to be grateful for. But in your heart, it just doesn’t seem to connect. Perhaps the most insidious quality of perfectionism is its ability to rob of us of the simple joys that come with recognizing the imperfect beauty of our everyday lives. If you struggle to feel satisfied with your life, just as it is right now, then you might be a perfectionist.

Enjoy this post? You might also like:

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Think you may be a perfectionist? Could you use some support?