Are You a High Functioning Perfectionist?

Do you ping-pong between options hoping to make the “right” decision? Do you feel paralyzed by your analysis? Could you be a High Functioning Perfectionist? Take this quick assessment and see? (or download the assessment to the right) Check each box that applies to you.

I frequently hear people urging me to hurry up and make a decision.


I realize that I overthink things, which often leaves me prone to anxiety.

I am motivated by making things the best and highest quality possible.

I crave the ability to have ample amounts of time to do my work.

I often exhaust myself by asking questions like: But what about _____.

I constantly mull over my options.

I’ve heard that I slow the flow and process for others involved in my work.

I can deal with the details. I actually enjoy the details.

I tend to spend more time than most people asking questions and doing my research.

I’ve been told I’m a perfectionist.

Here’s one way to consider your results:

If you checked 1 to 3 of these boxes, you have some perfectionistic traits.

If you checked 4 to 7 boxes, you may fluctuate between being trapped by perfectionism and not.

If you checked 8 to 10 of these boxes, you probably spend a good amount of time stuck in the perfect trap—doing things too perfectly.

Why Should I Care?

Here’s something to take into consideration: When we are too focused on getting things right, we can diminish our capacity to get things accomplished. When we are frozen in analysis or fixated on too many details our life satisfaction goes way, way down.

These three folks validate this point:

In Psychology Today Monica Ramirez writes that you may be reaching for the unattainable, leading to physical and emotional stress. “If you’re always worried that no matter how hard you try it is never good enough, or you’re constantly disappointed in the people you live or work with, you may be caught in a sneaky snare.”

Shannon Kaiser says in an article titled 9 Things to Stop Overanalyzing if You Want to Be Happy, “Many of us overthink things. The ego will latch onto comments, glances, situations, and outcomes, and replay them over and over . . . Whether it’s worrying about social situations, our self-worth, our future, our families’ health or anything else, overanalyzing situations is exhausting. We waste time overthinking.”

And software developer Jason Fried writes on don’t get stuck on the details. “Success isn’t the only thing you’ll find in the details. You’ll also find fixation, stagnation, disagreement, meetings and delays. These poison projects. These are the things that kill morale. You want to avoid these at all costs. If you procrastinate, procrastinate the details.”

Now What?

Smart people can get stuck in too much “perfect” and neglect the super power of being able to deliver high quality work. You and I can prevent, even reverse the negative influences of being a high functioning perfectionist. It can take time and effort. It will be worth it.

Here are a few ways to be less stuck in the “perfect trap” and spend more time feeling peace of mind:
Take an actual standardized test to better determine how stuck you might be in perfectionism.
Shop for The DiSC Test on

Take It Up A Notch: Purchase our DiSC coaching package for $225 and receive a 30-minute coaching session and a DiSC assessment. To purchase your coaching package, contact Shannon at

Explore the strategies and tactics offered in:
Marti Laney’s book, The Introvert Advantage, or
Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.

If you only read one thing—READ THIS!

No matter what you decide to do or not do regarding your perfectionistic symptoms, don’t believe for one moment that you have to be stuck. Don’t believe that you are broken. Don’t play victim to the notion that “This is just how I am.” This “too perfect” aspect of you is more than likely a strength that is not being managed. Any strength that is not managed well can look like and feel like a weakness.

Author’s Notes

This blog is based on the fine work compiled and developed over the years around the DiSC Profile Assessment.