Is Perfectionism a Bad Thing?

Perfectionism may be ruining your opportunities for success

Abdullah Nadeem
3 min readFeb 14, 2021

The classic interview question: ‘What is your biggest weakness?’ — everyone’s cop-out to answer is that ‘I’m a perfectionist.’

When is come to writing a blog post, or designing anything creative, we can easily fall into the trap of making sure every meticulous detail is perfect and there are zero errors.

This can often cause more harm than good and result in anxiety, however, there is also an argument for it.

A big part of a perfectionist tendency is being sure that no one is able to perform a task to the ability that you could or have the vision you have, therefore, you want to take all the responsibility and roles upon yourself.

This is something I’ve always struggled with, but the power of delegating tasks to those who are more equipt can 9/10 times increase the efficiency and productivity of an outcome.

We often think that the way we envision something is the only way something can exist however this is far from the truth.

The Story of Nike

Take Nike for example. Nike has become a global phenomenon and a brand which has truly taken over the world. There isn’t a place in the world where you can go and not find a Nike product.

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, in fact, did not initially like the name and wanted to call it ‘Dimension Six’.

It was actually one of his first employees Jeff Johnson who came up with the name. A name which had meaning and a ring to it. Nike.

In Greek mythology, Nike is the Winged Goddess of Victory. The logo is derived from goddess’ wing swoosh’, which symbolises the sound of speed, movement, power and motivation.

In my opinion, the brand’s name and the meaning behind it have contributed so much to its success, and this would not have been possible without Phil having other’s around to have their creative input.

This highlights that having a team which believes in your vision and is able to contribute with their own unique style is so important.

In his ‘perfectionist’ mind, Dimension Six felt like the winner, but we can all now agree that the brand may not have had its success if Phil took on a dictator and perfectionist role.

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

The Other Side

Letting go of the ‘perfectionist mentality’ and allowing for outside input and room for error, will only ever open more doors of opportunity. Or so they say.

One can argue that being a perfectionist initially, is what allows for future success and I agree with this to a certain extent.

We never hear articles about ‘People who failed to build a YouTube channel’ or ‘This Man Never Became a Millionaire’, it’s always the success story.

And if it takes perfectionism to make it there, so be it. Right?

The 3 types of perfectionism

  1. Self-oriented: If you have really high standards for yourself.
  2. Other-orientated: If you have those high standards for other people.
  3. Socially-prescribed: When you think other people have really high standards for yourself.

Do you fall into any of these categories? If so, is the level regulated? Falling too far deep into any can lead to a loss in relationships and mental health. No one wants to be friends with someone who always corrects or judges them.

However, it can also be seen that a good level of either one is healthy. Have a think about it and where you fall.

Have a great week!





Abdullah Nadeem

Hey! I’m a medical student who writes about Productivity, Growth and New Concepts to bring excitement to your week. FREE eBook on my blog: