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Are you a high achiever or a perfectionist?

Perfectionists are a lot like high achievers, but with some key differences. Read my 8 key differences below to discover if are a high achiever or a perfectionist.

100% or no reward

Perfectionists, like high achievers, tend to set high goals and work hard toward them. However, a high achiever can be satisfied with doing a great job, even if their very high goals aren’t completely met. Perfectionists will accept nothing less than perfection. Perfectionism is unrealistic illusion often coming from academic reward system, prize went to top results but good enough did not get a reward. For example: A child getting a gold star for achieving excellent but the very goods not getting any star.

Highly Critical of yourself and others

Perfectionists are more critical of themselves and others than high achievers. While high achievers take pride in their accomplishments and tend to be supportive of others, perfectionists tend to spot mistakes and imperfections. They hone in on imperfections and have trouble seeing anything else. They’re more judgmental and hard on themselves and on others when "failure" does occur.

You are driven by fear and do not enjoy the process

High achievers tend to be pulled toward their goals and a desire to achieve them. They are satisfied with any steps made in the right direction. Perfectionists tend to be pushed towards their goals by a fear of not reaching them and see anything less than a perfectly met goal as a failure. They do not enjoy the process, whereas a high achiever tends to have that dancing in the rain type of attitude.


You are focused on the results rather than the process

High achievers can enjoy the process of chasing a goal as much or more than the actual reaching of the goal itself. Perfectionists see the goal and nothing else. They’re so concerned about meeting the goal and avoiding the dreaded failure that they can’t enjoy the process of growing and striving.

If your goals are not yet achieved, you see it as a failure

High achievers tend to be pulled toward their goals and a desire to achieve them. They are satisfied with any steps made in the right direction. Perfectionists tend to be pushed towards their goals by a fear of not reaching them and see anything less than a perfectly met goal as a failure. They do not enjoy the process, whereas a high achiever tends to have that dancing in the rain attitude.

You procrastinate because of fear of failure

Perfectionism and procrastination do tend to go hand in hand. This is because, fearing failure as they do, perfectionists will sometimes worry so much about doing something imperfectly that they become immobilised and fail to do anything at all. They freeze and it doesn't get done at all.

You take constructive criticism defensively

They tend to take constructive criticism defensively, while high achievers can see criticism as valuable information to help their future performance. Perfectionist can overthink the feedback and be overly sensitive whereas a high achiever can see it as learning and an opportunity to improve.

You suffer from low self-esteem

High achievers tend to have equally high esteem, not so with perfectionists. Perfectionists tend to be very self-critical and unhappy and suffer from low self-esteem. They can also be lonely or isolated as their critical nature and rigidity can push others away as well.


If you can relate to being a perfectionist and feel like it is holding you back, then Sakura Thinking can help you transition from perfectionist to high achiever and help you achieve your goals and vision. Learn more about enjoying the process, boost your self-esteem, develop a positive attitude, be more compassionate with yourself and others and move forward towards your ultimate vision. We can meet for a clarity call to get started. BOOK IT NOW.



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