Trying to be a perfectionist could have strong negative impact leading to burnout in the workplace, education and sports, suggests a new study.
'Perfectionistic strivings' involves the setting of high personal standards and working toward those goals in a pro-active manner. These efforts may help maintain a sense of accomplishment and delay the debilitating effects of burnout, the study found. Lead researcher Andrew Hill of the York St. John University said that 'perfectionistic concerns' could be more detrimental when people constantly worry about making mistakes, letting others down, or not measuring up to their own impossibly high standards.
Hill added that it captures fears and doubts about personal performance, which creates stress that can lead to burnout when people become cynical and stop caring, adding that it could also interfere with relationships and make it difficult to cope with setbacks because every mistake is viewed as a disaster. According to a study, a student can be rewarded for hard work with a high grade, or a tennis player can win the big match, but a stellar performance in the workplace may not be recognized or rewarded, which may contribute to cynicism and burnout.
Hill said that people need to learn to challenge the irrational beliefs that underlie perfectionistic concerns by setting realistic goals, accepting failure as a learning opportunity, and forgiving themselves when they fail. The study is published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review