10 signs you’re not a perfectionist, you just set high standards for yourself

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Do people keep mistaking you for a perfectionist just because you have high standards for yourself?

Perfectionists often set impossibly high standards for themselves, and others. When they can’t meet these standards, they get frustrated, anxious, and even depressed.

But, you’re not a perfectionist – you’re just trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s take a look at 10 signs that prove that you’re not a perfectionist, even though you’ve set high standards for yourself:

1) You set goals that are achievable

The difference between you and a perfectionist is that you have realistic expectations.

And though they may be challenging, your goals are certainly achievable.

The problem with a perfectionist is that they’re not always capable of telling the difference between what’s doable and what isn’t.

That’s why they often bite off more than they can chew and beat themselves up when they aren’t able to reach the goals they set for themselves.

2) You are motivated and strive for excellence

But that doesn’t mean that you expect to achieve the impossible.

So what does it mean?

It means that you like to give everything your best shot. You may not achieve perfection, but you can sleep easy knowing that you worked hard at something and gave it your all.

For perfectionists, however, doing their best is not good enough if they don’t achieve perfection.

3) You are honest with yourself

Unlike a perfectionist, you don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re good at something when you’re not. I guess that’s the reason you’re able to set attainable goals for yourself.

You’re honest with yourself and that means that you know your strengths and your weaknesses.

So, setting high standards for yourself simply means playing to your strengths and working on your weaknesses. Nothing more, and nothing less.

4) You’re open to constructive criticism

Here’s the deal, perfectionists think that they know best and don’t like to hear other people’s opinions.

You on the other hand are the exact opposite – you actually want feedback!

You’re someone that learns from their mistakes in order to improve and meet those high standards.

Sounds smart to me.

5) You take responsibility for your actions

Here’s what’s so great about you:

When something doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped – when you don’t succeed at something – you don’t blame your failure on others.

You’re aware of the fact that you made certain decisions that led to a certain outcome.

Perfectionists are different.

They’re happy to take the praise when they do well, but when they fail, they’re ready to blame it on everything but the kitchen sink.

You see, with them it’s always someone else’s fault. They’re simply incapable of taking responsibility for their choices and their actions.

6) You’re disappointed when you don’t meet your own expectations

Well, of course, you are. It’s natural to feel that way.

But you don’t dwell on it for too long. Instead, you move on. You make a new plan or start a new project.

You know what they say – you win some, you lose some.

If only the perfectionist could have such a healthy attitude!

When they don’t meet their own expectations, they really take it to heart and it takes them a really long time to recover.

In fact, they often get depressed and have trouble finding the will to start over again.

7) You take deadlines seriously

Think back to your school days… When your friends went out to play, you’d only join them once your homework was done.

It’s the same today. You take deadlines very seriously.

So, if you’ve got something to finish for work, you’ll work overtime and skip your leisure activities in order to meet the deadline.

Some people think you’re a perfectionist, but that’s not it. You’re simply being a responsible adult.

8) You’re eager to learn new things

You’re one of those people that believe that learning is a life-long activity, so you’re constantly looking to expand your mind and pick up new skills.

And how do you learn new things?

Easy. There are a gazillion ways to learn something new every day.

That’s why you love to read, travel, take online courses on anything from “psychology” to “how to play the guitar”, watch TV, listen to podcasts, and meet new people – especially people who are different from you.

But that’s not all!

Whenever someone proposes doing something you’ve never done before – whether it’s trying a new cuisine or canoeing – 99% of the time you say “yes”.

That brings me to the next point…

9) You’re not scared to venture out of your comfort zone

Yes, it can be scary to step outside your comfort zone, but it can also be quite rewarding to challenge yourself in such a way!

Think about it:

  • It’s a great way to learn about the world as well as yourself (it will help you become more self-aware).
  • Navigating unfamiliar territory often requires thinking out of the box and using your problem-solving skills.
  • It can also help you build resilience, work on your self-confidence, and develop creativity.

It’s therefore only natural that someone who’s striving to live their best life and be the best self they can be would want to broaden their horizons.

10) You refuse to compromise your values and principles

So, you’ve set some pretty high standards for yourself, and while those include learning new things and striving for excellence, they also include never straying from your beliefs.

You have integrity and self-respect.

That means that when the devil offers you your dream job and a crazy-a** salary, you say “no thank you”. Your high standards mean never going against your beliefs or compromising your values and principles.

Look, truth be told you probably won’t become rich and famous, but at least you can sleep soundly at night knowing that you haven’t sold your soul!

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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