I'm not a perfectionist. (Or at least that is what I always told myself anyway). I admit that I am critical, have high expectations for those I rely on, and I set extremely high standards for myself, but that doesn't mean I am a perfectionist, does it? My view of that word has always brought to mind someone who is never 100% happy with any results, is rarely satisfied, and is possibly so paralyzed by their own inability to make something "perfect" they never accomplish anything. I hope that does not describe me.
The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman has a test in it. I've reposted it here for you to try. I highly encourage you to read the book if you wonder if your birth order has anything to do with your personality. (It more than likely does).
This Week's Question of the Week: Are You A Perfectionist?
How much of a perfectionist are you? To find out, fill in the blank next to each question below with a 4 for always, 3 for often, 2 for sometimes, and 1 for seldom. Now remember, be honest. The truth won't hurt!
_______ 1. Mistakes -- your own or others' --irritate you.
_______ 2. You feel everyone should be as driven to do his best as you are.
_______ 3. You use the word should a lot --as in, "I should have taken care of that," or "We should meet on this immediately."
_______ 4. You find it hard to enjoy success. Even when something goes well, it's easy for you to find the things that could have been just a little bit better.
_______ 5. One small mistake ruins your day -- or at least your morning.
_______ 6. Terms like good enough and just about right bother you, particularly on the job.
_______ 7. You tend to put things off because you feel you're not quite ready to do the job right.
_______ 8. You find yourself apologizing for something because you could have done it better if you'd had more time.
_______ 9. When in a meeting, working in a team, or in any group situation in the workplace, you prefer to be in control of what is happening.
_______ 10. Realizing your deep need to have all your ducks in a row, you insist that those around you have their ducks in the same row (think exactly the way you do).
_______ 11. You tend to see the glass half-empty instead of half-full.
0-22 Why are you reading this chapter anyway? You're certainly not even close to being a perfectionist.
23-27 mild perfectionist
28-36 medium perfectionist
37-44 extreme perfectionist (you're too hard on yourself and everyone else)
I scored a 34. That makes me a medium perfectionist. I suppose I should have guessed that within my first-born personality is a little perfectionism. While I'd like to think I direct the worst of it at myself, I know there are times when my expectations for others end up a lot higher than they are ready for. Realizing the impact of this on my co-workers, my children and on the assignments I take on, I am learning to not only give myself a break, but to give others a break as well. It's a work-in-progress for me, but I am making inroads.
So, how about your score? Did you end up with the result you thought you would? I admit I was a little nervous to take this test, but I think the result is fair. They say that knowledge is power right? Now I just need to use this information to make me better. And better for me might just mean relaxing my standards.
Next week is review week. If you haven't answered all 9 questions so far, please go back and catch up so we can look at all the results and begin to identify some possible personality patterns.