Rational perfectionist

The topic of perfectionism is touted for a long time and from all sides. Some psychologist will suggest that you should try to avoid the perfectionism at all cost and in all situations. Based on their experiences and years of trials, perfectionism may cause you real troubles in your life and work. No matter all these facts, why not to take a look at this subject in connection to web design and web development? Today, we are going exactly that. We will discuss some pros and cons of perfectionism also introduce something called rational perfectionism …


Let’s begin with worse side. So what cons or pains perfectionism can cause? One of the most mentioned consequences is that you might not be able to finish many of your projects. The reason is simple. You don’t want to release or show anything until it is perfect in every detail. Even though it might be good intention to keep your work at certain level in every situation, it can easily turn into burden. What’s more, if you are dependent on your work and your ability to ship, this burden can turn into curse and drag you and your business down.

Another drawback of perfectionism can be inability to start working at all. If you don’t believe in yourself or your ability to create what you want, you might rather not start at all. Why not. This is the best way to avoid failure and feeling of shame. Wrong! Choices such as this one will make things only worse. The more you will procrastinate due to your perfectionism, the harder it will be for you to get out of it.

Perfectionism does not affect only the work part of your life, but it can hurt your relationships too. Being a perfectionist you are quick to spot small flaws in the world around you and if you are also willing to point them out, it can hurt people around you. In fact, it can even destroy relationships you built for a long time with people you like. On the other, while being ruthless critic of others, you can be unable to handle critic of your own work. Not being able to accept critic or advice will also lower your chance to learn and fix your weaknesses.

Rational perfectionism

As you might argue, the example above is more extreme example of perfectionism that can even require some medical advice. The less dangerous and more feasible type of perfectionism can be, for example, when you are striving to perfect every detail of your project, but you are still able to ship it. The last part is important. Even though the project has some small flaws, your ability to ship it stays untouched by that. Here, I have to confess that I fall into this category. I call it being rational perfectionist.

Again, rational perfectionist always strive to achieve the best possible outcome, but no matter what, he (or she) is still able to finish the job and ship it. Rational perfectionist know that everything has its flaws, small or big, and he is okay with it. He is able to give a feedback and critic and also receive it without taking it personally. When he shares his opinion, he does it in friendly way and is willing to help other people to fix those flaws. Thanks to this ability he maintain good relationships with other people.


After a bit pessimistic beginning, let’s now focus on the brighter side of perfectionism (the rational perfectionism). As a rational perfectionist you are more likely to master your craft. You are willing to practice as much as needed and fix every potential gap in your knowledge in order to bulletproof your skills along the way. You can take feedback and critic from others and act upon it. This ability to persevere through tough times will help you get to the top in your industry.

Another benefit of being a rational perfectionist can come in terms of your reputation. If you strive to always deliver the best work possible (deliver even if not perfect), you are building very good reputation among both, your clients and your colleagues (or other people in your industry). Good reputation can quickly turn into more interesting and profitable jobs and even bring you recognition.

Mastery, money … What is next? When you are trying to reach perfection through learning, practice, getting feedback, fixing flaws and iterating your skills will grow in steady rate. Every time you see progress in your craft, you will feel better about yourself and become more self-confident. However, don’t overdo this. There is a difference between being self-confident and being arrogant (or jerk). Part of real self-confidence is also humility. No matter how great you are, stay humble.

Team player?

One benefit of having this type of perfectionist in your team or company is his influence on colleagues that don’t have enough skills. He can help them recognize the gaps in their attainments and probably be willing to help find a way to fix them. Even though he might not be a team player, or not the best one, people around him can benefit from his drive and his pursuit for perfection.

Serious or not?

The last thing I want to point out is that there is a big difference between perfectionism – making choice to strive for the best outcome – and psychological disorder – obsession to be perfect in every area every time. People in the first category can handle when things are not as they want. They can learn from it and swallow it. On the other hand, people in the second category might fall into depression or exhibit unusual and even dangerous behavior. In the later case (second group), these people should not underestimate it and consider talking to some specialist. When things reach certain level, it is better to ask for help.


Perfectionism can be good and bad. It is like a fire. If you can handle it, it will benefit you. Otherwise, you will burn your hands. So, what about you? Are you a perfectionist?

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By Alex Devero

I'm Founder/CEO of DEVERO Corporation. Entrepreneur, designer, developer. My mission and MTP is to accelerate the development of humankind through technology.

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