Procrastination and Perfectionists

Posted by Karen Degen on 11th April 2013

Tags: fear of success, high standards, perfectionism, perfectionist, personality trait, potential, procrastination

Perfectionism is a trait I see in many of my clients and it’s an issue that causes many problems. In fact it’s the third most damaging personality trait I see.  One common symptom of being a perfectionist is procrastination.  They either won’t start something or will start it and not finish.  This of course is not just a trait of perfectionists, but the reason it shows up in them is because they can’t cope with not meeting their own high standards.  Subconsciously it’s easier to live with themselves if they give up than if they try really hard but don’t succeed at the highest level.   Perfectionism can stop us living life to our fullest potential because of a fear we won’t reach it.  For perfectionists there is no ‘try’, there is only ‘do’, so not doing is often the only option.  Often perfectionists are afraid that if we change that trait they will no longer try as hard.  The opposite is actually true – they will try more things without being afraid of not being great at them.