1. You're not satisfied unless you see results.
You could be scrambling to meet a huge target at work or just trying to make the perfect fruit tart. If you don't meet the target or your tart doesn't look the way it does in cooking magazines, you're not satisfied and feel like nothing was accomplished.
2. A "solid effort" or "putting your best foot forward" isn't enough.
If you don't hit your goal, you can't just get over it by thinking, Oh well, we still came close; X, Y, and Z were still strong. You'll just obsess over why you didn't hit it and how you can hit it next time.
3. Success is all or nothing.
Going back to that tart, you can't just say, "Well at least the crust turned out great!" It needs to look like an epic magazine-worthy tart or you just feel like you wasted your time. Same with work goals—you're not satisfied with coming close. You need to hit a home run. Every single time.
4. If you don't do exactly what you planned to do, you work twice as hard to make up for not meeting the goal.
Even if it's just planning to go to the gym four times this week. If you miss a day, you feel like you *~HaVe*~ to go one extra next week to make up for it.
5. "Good enough" is not a concept you understand.
Everything with your name on it must be exceptional. You will pull all-nighters when you're writing a paper for work or school. You will search obsessively for weeks for the perfect wedding photographer. When you have a vision, there's no letting go of it.
6. You know life would be easier if you could accept something less than your vision but you still just can't.
Because when you see it in your brain, you absolutely have to achieve that very thing or you'll go crazy. And everyone else around you will just have to get on board or deal.
7. Little things bother you all the time.
Like how your colleague didn't follow up with that vendor like she said she would, or how your new towels came in the mail and they look a shade lighter than they did online, or how your old white T-shirts are a shade darker than your brand new white T-shirts. Why can't everything just be perfect like it is in your brain?
8. You procrastinate.
Perfectionists have a tendency to procrastinate, research suggests, because they put things off until they feel they know the very best way to do something. Which is terrible, because you then end up cramming a big project into a short period of time because once you do finally get going, you can't stop until your project is flawless.
9. You spend forever on things because you can't stand when your vision doesn't pan out perfectly.
Sometimes you end up spending an entire day on something you thought would take an hour because—totally pretend scenario time—you weren't planning on going to that Halloween party but now you have a costume idea and you need the perfect mask and no one carries it but you can't go unless you ge tthat mask and so you're driving all over town trying to find it and before you know it, it's 7 o'clock and you didn't get anything done on that presentation and ugh.
10. You feel like a slacker when you've spent all day trying to get one thing perfect instead of finishing a lot of things.
Because you set out to cross five things off your to-do list, and only crossed off one thing because you got bogged down trying to make something happen that will never pan out the way you want it to. The day feels like a waste.
11. When you tell people you're lazy, they're like, "LOL, no."
You only feel lazy because sometimes your perfectionistic tendencies and extremely high expectations for yourself make you do things slower than you planned to. And when you don't meet your goals, you feel like a failure.
12. You can obsess over a mistake for days or more.
You probably still remember the mistake you made in a piano recital when you were 12.
13. You get irrationally bothered about random things when they are not how they "should" be.
Like when you're in someone's kitchen looking for a glass and there is an obviously logical place for it but that place is occupied by oven mitts instead of glasses.
14. Normal people's clutter = your catastrophe.
15. Alternatively, even your mess makes perfect sense to you and if someone disrupts your many piles you cannot deal.
Which is why you would rather be messy than neat and excuse me, can you please put that stack of mail somewhere other than my desk? Kthx.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.