7 traits of perfectionists that aren’t always about being perfect

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Perfectionists aren’t exactly the most popular people. Their desire for perfection often drives the people around them crazy.

It turns out, however, that their unceasing need for perfection affects them negatively more than anyone else!


Because when they don’t achieve perfection, they end up feeling like they’re not good enough and that can lead to depression and anxiety.

But, it’s not all about being perfect, they actually have some good traits (that could be misinterpreted but aren’t about perfection).

Let’s take a look:

1) High standards

Okay, so I get how high standards and perfectionism go hand-in-hand. And while perfectionists have a tendency to set high standards for themselves and others, it’s not always a bad thing and it’s not always about being perfect.

You see, having high standards can also be a positive trait that motivates people to live their best lives and give everything they do 100%.

Basically, having high standards means that your expectations for yourself (and often for those closest to you) are set above average.

And while perfectionism is an unrealistic goal that can lead to frustration, disappointment, and even depression, high standards can be a good way to motivate yourself to work hard and continuously improve.

All in all, high standards aren’t always about perfection. People with high standards aren’t afraid to make mistakes or fail – it’s all part of the learning process.

Instead, high standards are about setting the bar high and having goals that may be challenging, but achievable.

2) Attention to detail

Yes, a lot of perfectionists have a keen eye for detail. They can spot the tiniest mistakes and imperfections, it’s true.

But attention to detail isn’t always about being perfect. It’s about noticing small things that others may miss. It’s about precision and taking the time to go over the details – without, of course, becoming obsessed with them.

This can be super useful when it comes to spotting errors and inconsistencies and identifying potential problems before they get out of hand.

And it turns out that attention to detail is a quality that many look for in fields such as design, engineering, and research!

3) Dedication and commitment

Here’s the thing:

Being dedicated and committed means putting in the time, effort, and resources necessary to achieve your goals. It means working tirelessly to get where you want to go and dealing with all the challenges and obstacles along the way.

And while a lot of perfectionists are dedicated and committed, not everyone who is dedicated and committed to something is a perfectionist.

You could be dedicated and committed to a project or achieving a goal without expecting perfection. You know that setbacks and even failure are big possibilities. But you’re willing to try your best and learn from your mistakes.

Dedication and commitment often mean working tirelessly to achieve your desired outcome, even when things don’t go as planned.

4) Organizational skills

I know, I know… Perfectionists are often crazy organized! I mean, remember Monica from Friends?

But that doesn’t mean that everyone with organizational skills is a perfectionist or that organizational skills are about perfection.

Organization skills are about being able to set goals, prioritize tasks, make plans, and stick to schedules.

And the good part?

Having such skills helps with productivity. It also means that you’re able to multitask and adapt to changes and deal with any obstacles that arise.

But being organized doesn’t mean never making mistakes or encountering problems. And it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world when something doesn’t go according to plan.

Being organized isn’t about being perfect, but rather, it’s about being as efficient as possible.

5) Self-discipline

Self-discipline is about being able to control your behavior (often in order to achieve your goals – for example getting into shape), even when you’re faced with temptation (like chocolate cake).

And though to people who have no self-discipline whatsoever, it may seem like a strict and inflexible way to live, self-discipline is not about being perfect.

It’s about being consistent and working hard to avoid distractions and overcome any setbacks that could get in the way of making progress and achieving your goals.

People with self-discipline know that they’re bound to slip and make a mistake or give in to temptation from time to time.

And do you know what? They’re okay with that, it’s not the end of the world.

That’s because they’re not striving for perfection (which can be quite damaging to their mental health). And when someone with self-discipline falls off the horse (eats a piece of cake, or even two pieces of cake) they get back on the horse without beating themselves up too much.

6) Analytical thinking

Of course there are perfectionists who are analytical thinkers and analytical thinkers who are perfectionists, but that doesn’t mean that analytical thinking is about being perfect.

It’s actually a very valuable trait to have because it means that you are quick to identify problems and come up with solutions.

It’s about identifying trends and patterns and making informed decisions based on the information you have.

But just because you’re an analytical thinker doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always be right. So many different variables come into play and that means that perfection is unachievable.

In short, analytical thinking is about making informed decisions based on the data and evidence presented, but it’s not about being perfect.

7) Strong work ethic

It’s true that perfectionists have a strong work ethic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, nor does it have to be about perfection.

A strong work ethic means being committed to your work and working hard to complete your tasks. It also means being reliable and following through on your commitments. It means being accountable for your actions. And those are pretty good qualities to have.

However, it’s important to understand that even though you have a strong work ethic, it doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter setbacks or that there’s no room for improvement.

The truth is that nobody is perfect – and that includes perfectionists. But that doesn’t mean that perfectionists don’t have some good traits that aren’t about being perfect.

If you have some or even all of the traits I mention in this article that’s great! Just remember to set realistic expectations.

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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