My new book, The Perfectionism Workbook for Teens, is available now! To celebrate, I am running a five-part series highlighting some concepts from the book. I’ll talk about some different ways perfectionists struggle, and offer some tools for change. (By the way, although my book is technically aimed at teens, a lot of the tools work for adults too, and these blogs posts will focus on ideas for grownups.) This is the last week! I have procrastinated writing this post until the last minute, because it is about procrastination.
When faced with a challenging project or daunting task, perfectionists want to envision an unobstructed path towards certain victory. You want to imagine every step of the plan, anticipate every possible challenge and how to overcome it, and clearly see a “perfect” outcome before you start taking any action.
This can lead to a common perfectionist habit: procrastination. You put off getting started on that important project, because we haven’t completely thought it through yet. You have it on your to-do list to get started this afternoon, but then your inner perfectionist says, “Do a little more research first,” or that part might anxiously wonder, “What are you gonna do if X happens?” And then you’re back to the planning and preparing, putting off getting started for another day. Or week. Or year.