Perfectionism or detail-oriented? This is how you deal with perfectionism as an HSP in a relaxed manner

Perfectionism or detail-oriented? This is how you deal with perfectionism as an HSP in a relaxed manner
Are you highly sensitive? Then you have a natural tendency toward perfectionism. You can work very precisely, notice details easily, and make high demands on yourself. The annoying thing about this perfectionism is that it usually goes together with being very hard on yourself and with that, you can lose sight of your own limits and self-esteem. In this article, you can read how you can deal with your perfectionism more relaxed and use it as quality.

Perfectionism ensures that you can work very precisely and accurately and that the quality of your work is high. But it comes with a price. Many highly sensitive people run into this sooner or later.

The Fear of Perfectionism

With perfectionism, you have to do good for yourself. There is no option to do it wrong or do something less. There is fear beneath perfectionism. For example, fear of not doing well, fear of not meeting expectations, fear of being judged or rejected, or fear of not being good enough.

There can also be a bit of control urge attached to it. Being good at something can be a way to gain appreciation or recognition from an early age. And then you do more of that. It’s your way of getting to grips with your environment. Something you can hold on to.

Perfectionism or detail-oriented?

I used to think that perfectionism was a very good thing. After that, I thought I had to get rid of it because it had driven me into burnout. And now I think there is a middle ground.

Perfectionism is only a problem when there is fear. If you have to do it right for yourself. When you screw yourself up when something goes wrong or end up in self-judgment or rejection.

Perfectionism can also be very useful. I call it: detail-oriented. That’s exactly the same as perfectionism but without the fear. And then you come to the quality that is hidden in your perfectionism.

The quality under perfectionism: detail-oriented

Perfectionism or detail-oriented? This is how you deal with perfectionism as an HSP in a relaxed manner

If the fear of perfectionism disappears, you are left with a focus on detail. You can consciously use detail orientation when it makes sense. For example, for a job that requires precise work: measuring the sizes for your new curtains, preparing a bottle for a baby, making a detailed drawing, building a website, cooking, assembling a cupboard, and so on.

There is a big difference between whether you do something very precisely and accurately out of the fear of not doing it right otherwise, or out of the freedom to use your talent. You do the same thing (the result may even be the same), but it feels completely different.

In short, here are a few differences I noticed:


  • contains fear;
  • it has to be good;
  • only the end result is important;
  • and sometimes also: your self-esteem depends on the result.


  • you use your talent;
  • it is possible;
  • the process, the road to the result, can be pleasant or relaxed;
  • your self-esteem does not depend on the result.

When you notice that you can enjoy the process, regardless of the end result, it is a good sign that you are using your talent in a more relaxed way. Occasionally ask yourself how much fear is hidden in your actions and are you concerned with the end result? Would you be able to enjoy the process on the go too?



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