Are you a perfectionist? Does the need for 100% flawless work or result cause you to avoid starting projects? Do you not lose out on moving forward, when waiting for perfection? In this competitive world, being ideal may often be expected of you, but what are the pitfalls?

The word ‘perfectionist’ means…

‘A person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection’. – as on Lexico.

As a blogger on life tips, self-improvement is a key topic for my blog. While I’m all for setting high-level goals, I’ll give you 10 reasons why being a perfectionist (to the extreme) doesn’t actually bring you the desired results.

Do set high standards

First of all, I want to clarify that when I say ‘reasons not to be a perfectionist’, I’m not advocating for low standards of work. On the contrary, setting high-level goals are desirable for better results. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals. You may instead prefer to use another goal-setting method if you wish to.

1. Stressful

You already have many skills, talent, the knowledge that you can further develop and use. At the same time, no one’s perfect! As a perfectionist, you focus on the ‘ideal’ and this leads to more stress, given what you expect out of yourself.

“I stress out a lot. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help with that!” – Ryan Newman

2. Counter-productive

While you always find that things aren’t good enough, you end up not moving forward with your action plan. This becomes a barrier to productivity instead of ensuring better results.

3. Procrastination

In waiting to become ‘perfect’, you never get started with what you’re supposed to! You never start the piece of art or the entrepreneurial endeavour that you dream of. Needless to say, others already go for it, while you keep on waiting…

Related: 20 simple ways to stop procrastination

4. Self-confidence

Being confident of your capabilities, you know that if you start your project now, you’ll handle the rest later on. When you decide that you’ll go for it, you’re already on the way to achieving the right things.

10 reasons not to be a perfectionist, Tips from Sharvi.
Image from 10 reasons not to be a perfectionist – Tips from Sharvi.

5. Risk-averse

While waiting to be perfect to start, you could be unwilling to take risks. When you take calculated risks, you’re likely to go further in life!

6. Fear of failure

The belief that you’re not ready to start, could be linked to the fear of failure. Failure is part of the learning process. Those who dare will always be ahead of those who never even start!

“Overcoming fear is the first step to success for entrepreneurs. The winners all exemplify that, and the hard work and commitment they have shown underlines what is needed to set up a business.” – Richard Branson

7. Learn from mistakes

Start, even if you’re not perfect, then learn from your mistakes. You’ll be much better than what you were yesterday! Mistakes help you grow when you learn from them.

8. Learning culture

Embrace ongoing learning and make it part of your culture. You’ll be better off than waiting for perfection and being stagnant. In a world of so many uncertainties, learning is an endless process!

Related: 10 ways lifelong learning enhances your prospects

9. Experimentation

While you learn from the top people in your field, improvement also comes when you’re willing to experiment, try things out, learn from past mistakes and get better at what you do. You may even innovate in the process or make a new discovery!

10 reasons not to be a perfectionist, Tips from Sharvi.
Image from 10 reasons not to be a perfectionist – Tips from Sharvi.

10. Progress

Progress happens when you first get started and move forward, towards your set goals. On the other hand, waiting for perfection to come first, will have you waiting…


While setting high-level goals for yourself, aim at being the best version of yourself! If you chase perfection in an unrealistic way, you’ll may never even embark on the journey at all. Do you have any tips to share on the topic? Please do so. Thank you!!

Editor’s Note: This blog article has been updated for better accuracy and comprehensiveness.


SMART criteria

How to manage your perfectionism

49 thoughts on “10 reasons not to be a perfectionist

  1. I have met so many people that allow their perfectionium to hold them back for fear of failure, which is such a shame. There really is a fine line between doing something to the best of your ability and feeling good about it at the end of the day and allowing absolute perfection to rule your world.

    Liked by 1 person

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