Perfectionism is not the same as having high standards

A lot of what I do is… quite frankly… not very good. To put it differently, almost everything I do fails to meet my quality standards. So I am constantly fighting to do better.

It is not perfectionism. Perfectionism is the refusal to do anything unless it meets your high standards. To put it differently, perfectionism is synonymous with a lack of humility. It is a belief that flawed results are below you.

Let me be blunt: perfectionists are self-centered pretentious pricks.

Daniel Lemire, "Perfectionism is not the same as having high standards," in Daniel Lemire's blog, November 19, 2014.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

5 thoughts on “Perfectionism is not the same as having high standards”

  1. I think it may as well be anxiousness: believing that your product is really terrible and you can’t possibly dare to release it until it’s just another bit better, ad infinitum. One needs to work up the courage to betray the ideal conception of one’s work and settle for reality instead… always a disappointment!

  2. Well said. I struggle with this daily. There are always tradeoffs and some things can not be perfect and still be good without just being ‘good enough’. I hate good enough.

    That’s the struggle. Knowing that I am shipping something that solves a problem and is good, but not perfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may subscribe to this blog by email.