The perfectionist’s dilemma: 6 signs you’re setting goals too hard to achieve


1. You always submit work late / at the last minute.

In college, I was known for pulling all-nighters, not because I procrastinated like others, but because I couldn't stop perfecting my work, often submitting papers I'd completed earlier only after exhaustive research and revisions.

2. You never feel what you’ve done is complete.

The essence of the perfectionist's dilemma lies in the perpetual pursuit of improvement, even when you realize that nothing can ever be perfect; however, sometimes, the pursuit becomes inefficient and costly, leading to a realization that the incremental gain is not worth the extensive time and effort.

3. You’re constantly tired.

Striving for perfection often leads us to sacrifice sleep, a contradiction that can harm productivity and overall well-being in the long run, as adequate rest is essential for proper brain function and success in our pursuits.

4. You take on more than you can handle.

Perfectionists often take on excessive tasks and responsibilities due to a belief in their ability to do things better and a desire to meet performance goals, but this tendency to over-commit can lead to a predicament where none of the available options align with their pursuit of high standards, highlighting the importance of setting achievable goals.

5. You feel like a failure.

Perfectionists often struggle with a constant feeling of inadequacy, as their pursuit of perfection means they rarely feel they've done well enough, leading to a persistent sense of failure and the need to reassess their unattainable standards.

6. Other people tell you.

Recognizing that you're setting your goals too high isn't always self-driven; sometimes, others may signal it through comments or insinuations, and as perfectionists, it's important to start heeding their input and establish more realistic objectives for your own well-being.

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