The temptation affiliated with the concept of perfectionism is a very strong force. With perfectionism comes expectations, hence why the influence of perfectionism in itself is so powerful; it stems from a fear of letting others down.
I myself am a perfectionist. Not willingly as it is associated with my anxiety, like many others who experience this condition, and I’ll admit that I am reluctant to engage in perfectionism. But, because it can be such a powerful influence, it is difficult to resist its strength.
Being a perfectionist is complicated. From an outsiders perspective, perfectionists often come across as hard working, paying attention to detail, and being committed to their work. All of these tendencies are absolutely positive character traits, however, when they’re linked to anxiety, these tendencies can often be misinterpreted and the person dealing with perfectionism in question can feel conflicted. They’re positively recognized for their efforts, but struggle internally with praise because they acknowledge it stems from anxiety.
I can personally attest to the internal conflict that presents itself in this context when it comes to exhibiting perfectionism. On one hand, you’re flattered and happy to know that others recognize your efforts and the dedication you exhibit towards your work. On the other hand, though, you feel somewhat guilty knowing that anyone identifying your perfectionist tendencies doesn’t actually realize where they stem from. It can be a confusing process to work through.
Something to keep in mind when dealing with perfectionism is that you are not alone in your struggles, and further, that over time, perfectionist habits can be controlled and eventually diminished in their severity. I’ve experienced this change myself as a result of a lot of hard work to resist perfectionist tendencies, and while I’m nowhere near where I want to be with my perfectionism, I’m further than I once was.