Perfectionists aren’t perfect people. They are almost always miserable people.
Think about it.
There’s no such thing as perfect and if you are constantly trying to achieve perfection? What happens? Misery happens. This is true for your life and for your writing. The sad news is that a lot of writers are perfectionists, which means they are miserable.
There’s this great article on the Verywell Mind that has the 10 signs that you might be a perfectionist. But here are some of the signs:
Signs of Perfectionism
All-Or-Nothing Thinking – You can only accept perfection, your goal, nothing else will do.
Critical Eye – Tiny mistakes are the kingdom of your land and you fixate on them.
“Push” vs “Pull” – According to the article, perfectionist are “pushed toward their goals by a fear of not reaching them.” But high achieving people? They are happy making steps towards the goals and not constantly worrying/stressing about not getting there yet.
Unrealistic Standards – Your goal to be God is ridiculous. That’s basically all this is. Your goal is to be the ultimate at something, something that is not possible. And you know it, but you still make that your goal.
Focusing on Only Results – You don’t care about the process of getting there.
Depressed by Unmet Goals – What is this thing called happiness? Perfectionists have a hard time knowing this thing.
Fear of Failure – It is overwhelming and it starts to taint everything perfectionists do.
Procrastination – Elizabeth Scott puts this in her article and phrases it so well, “This is because, 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! This leads to more feelings of failure, and a vicious cycle is thus perpetuated.”
Defensiveness – Constructive criticism is the enemy and not a tool for betterment. Constructive criticism hurts.
Low Self Esteem – Being super critical of yourself? It doesn’t help your self. Your esteem actually lessens.
Those are so sad, aren’t they? That’s not how you want to feel, is it? So, how do you overcome your own perfectionist mindset?
Three Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism
Recognize that you do it.
Talk realistically to yourself.
Practice looking at things from other’s points of view
Writing Tip of the Pod: Recognize your perfectionism and realize that it’s holding you back. Allow yourself to be happy.
Dog Tip for Life: There is no such thing as perfection, there is no one way to be. Some bacon may be crunchy. Some bacon may be soggy. All bacon is perfect. So are you.
Carrie will be at Book Expo America in NYC on June 1 at 11:30 – 12 at the Lerner booth signing copies of the Spy Who Played Baseball. A week before that, she’ll also be in NYC presenting to the Jewish Book Council.
For a complete round-up of Carrie’s 16-or-so books, check out her website. And if you like us, or our podcast, or just want to support a writer, please buy one of those books, or leave a review on a site like Amazon. Those reviews help. It’s all some weird marketing algorhthym from hell, basically.
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But here is the link to our podcast today about perfectionism!