Characteristics of Perfectionism

Have you ever heard someone say “I’m a perfectionist”? It seems as if people brag about it or use the phrase to explain their desire to never settle for anything less than the best. But many people don’t know the true meaning of a perfectionist. This week (and the next), we’ll be delving into perfectionism. We’ll be focusing on what it really means, how it can affect one’s life, and how to manage it.

Here are a few signs of a perfectionism:

A fear of failure

No one wants to fail, however, perfectionists see anything less than “perfection” to be failure. Many perfectionists have a difficult time taking risks, due to the fear of failure. Sometimes, this fear can be paralyzing.


Perfectionists constantly wait on the “perfect time” to complete tasks and because they worry so much about things being done imperfectly, they procrastinate so often that they can become unproductive.

Extreme Critique

Perfectionists spot the tiniest mistakes and imperfections in themselves and in everything they do. The smallest mistakes feel like significant failures to them. They focus on imperfections and are hard on themselves when a mistake is made or when their plans don’t go perfectly. Perfectionists feel as if they’re constantly letting themselves and others down. This constant, extreme critique can result in persistent guilt, leading to low self-esteem. They can later begin to feel as if they just aren’t good enough to accomplish anything.

Depression from unmet goals

Perfectionists are often unhappy. When things don’t go as perfectly as they planned, and their high expectations aren’t met, they beat themselves up, wallow in their feelings, and eventually become depressed.

Feedback is not taken very well

Many of us want to hear that our work was done well, however, perfectionists can get very defensive and can even lash out at constructive feedback.

If any of these sound like you or someone you know, share this post and be sure to come back next week for the topic “How To Manage Perfectionism”.

At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose. If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.