I wrote this Aug 2010. I have come along way.
In the last several weeks I have discovered how much of a perfectionist I am and how it is making me very unhappy. I have always thought I am just an ungrateful person that doesn’t appreciate all the blessing that I have. But I now know that is not true and that the problem is my expectations are extremely high and I get frustrated, irritable and disappointed when things don’t go the way I think they “should”. The way I think things “should” be are of standards that I or others can’t meet. I am using a book When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough to help me learn more about perfectionism. I made up this perfectionism diary to help me track patterns, thoughts and behaviors. It may be helpful to others.You basically fill in and check off thoughts and behaviors that you are engaging in.
Activity: cleaning, work, art/music, housework, organizing things, relationships, small decisions, eating, sports/fitness, grooming/washing, driving, other______________________.
Intensity 0-100 (0 no problem-100 very much a problem)
_all or nothing thinking and excessively high standards
_filtering (magnify negative details at the expense of positive information)
_probability Overestimations (tendency to predict that negative events are more likely to occur than they really are.)
_tunnel vision (pay too much attention to detail and therefore miss the big picture.)
_interpersonal sensitivity (overly concerned about the opinions of others, extreme need for approval)
_catastrophic thinking (assuming that one could not cope with negative outcomes if they were to occur.)
_excessively rigid standards and inflexibility.
_over-responsibility and an excessive need for control (over responsibility for events that in reality can be controlled.)
_difficulty trusting others (trust others to complete tasks, difficulty delegating)
_Inappropriate social comparisons (comparing self to others)
_overcompensating (overdoing some behaviour to make sure absolute sure everything is just right.)
_Excessive checking and reassurance seeking
_repeating and correcting (one’s actions or another’s)
_excessive organizing and list making
_difficulty making decisions
_not knowing when to quit (work on a task to long, interferes with ability to complete task)
_giving up too soon
_failure to delegate
_avoidance (avoid situations in which one feels compelled to meet impossible standards set on self)
_attempts to change the behaviour of others
Antony, M., Swinson, R. (2009) When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough Second Edition, New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Oakland, CA.