What is Perfectionism?

The ADHD Trait of Perfectionism

Perfectionism is one of many traits some ADHDers experience on a daily basis. Those who share this trait often appear hyper-organized, have difficulty letting go of the smallest of details, redo tasks and projects routinely, and even struggle to start projects when they believe they can't do them perfectly. 

Striving for "perfect" can have its advantages in some situations, but doing so daily leads to perceived failures, abandoned dreams, and low self-esteem. It likely leads to hundreds of hours per year of lost productivity. 

Rather than completing something "well enough", we'll spend hours, if not days, searching for ever-elusive perfection. 

The ADHD Coping Mechanism of Trying to be Perfect

Some folks with ADHD have developed the habit of trying to be perfect as a way to mitigate criticism from family, friends, and superiors in the workplace. The thought is that if we hold ourselves to high standards, others won't have room to judge our work negatively. 

Perfect Has Its Place

While there are certainly times where such a perfectionist tendency may make sense (e.g. heart surgery), most of the time "done" is better than "perfect". 

Do You Struggle with Perfectionism?

What are some of the ways in which perfectionism has stopped you? Are there strategies you've used to overcome your tendancy to be perfect? Please share in the comments below. 

Standard disclaimer: Just because you read something on the internet does not mean it's great advice for you. Remember to experiment with what "sounds good" to you, and discard the rest.

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