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Are you a perfectionist? Then you know that perfectionism is both a good and bad character trait, as it can be beneficial trait, but at the same time an unfavorable trait. I myself am a perfectionist. Unfortunately not regarding the household, but, for example, in what I expect of myself. I like to set myself high standards.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] for example thought it was important to continue studying besides modeling, work in the field of my study at the same time, to deliver faultless and high quality work while I was still a beginner, to ensure a good income, to regularly visit my family, to be socialice even though I didn’t always wanted to be social, say “yes” to things that I actually would rather not say “yes” to and so on.

Need to excel

The bottom line is that due to my perfectionism, on many, but not all aspects of life, I want to do good, deliver flawless work and preferably want to excel in what I do. I can look up to people who excel and set them as an example and live up to expectations of others. Or rather: what I think the expectations of others are. These often prove to be incorrect and are actually expectations that I have of myself.

Does my perfectionism stand in my way? Yes, on a single aspect though. But when I came aware of this, I worked on it. By doing so, I can almost fully wholeheartedly say that at this point it doesn’t stand in my way anymore.


Where did my perfectionism come from? Hmm, not sure. Don’t have older brothers or sisters to look up to. Yes, I did have that a** of a boyfriend that projected his issues on me, but he has long been forgotten. I haven’t been pushed or something during my upbringing. When it was time for me to go to secondary school, I scored high enough to follow pre-university education, but my parents were okay with sending me to preparatory secondary vocational education (confession: I was as lazy student at that time!). The furthermore have never pushed me to study; this was entirely my own choice (dad, mom, if you read this: 1.000 times thanks for this trust and freedom!). I think it’s just who I am, a piece of dad’s genes and a bit of society influence.

Society aims to excel

As I look at our whole society, it aims to excel, which starts at an early age. Think of kids’ school reports. These reports provide a numeric rating system for how well a child performs. As such, it soon becomes clear that some children excel and some children are behind. Later during their school career, this causes that some children don’t even dare their reports home, because at home it is expected that a report shows good grades. In that light I am pro-abolition of kids’ school reports, or at least of assessment in this way.

More pennies in your bank account

Fast forward: if you have always achieved high grades in school, you can in most cases expect that you will grow more pennies on your bank account than when you got school reports with low grades. Thus, you get rewarded for excelling in intelligence. For clarity: intelligence in the most limited sense of the word; social, physical, creative and emotional intelligence are often not counted when it comes to intelligence, while I find this enormously valuable aspects of intelligence! I Sometimes think: “what would it be like to live in a communist country, where all the jobs and positions are equally important and paid equally?”. After all, our country would become quite unhygienic and permeated by diseases if there wouldn’t be garbage men!


We also want to excel at a social level  in our society. We place funny status updates on Facebook to get as much likes as possible. Show photo’s of how skinny we are. We want to be found spontaneous and fun. Always up for a party, while we actually prefer sitting at home on the couch and can’t always be spontaneous and joyful.

Fooling yourself

That’s pitiful! Although it’s absolutely human, it is obviously awfully stupid to always want to do good, meet expectations and excel in many fields. You simply can not excel in all fields, if you can already excel in one thing (unless you’re a complete genius, of course). And why would we even really want to excel? Meet expectations? Want to be perfect? It can be very stressful, it removes you from who you really are and who you want to be and it distracts you from who what really suits you. You keep yourself actually a bit fooled.

Let go of perfectionism?

Should you completely let go of your perfectionism? Easier said than done, of course, because often it’s just a character trait. Additionally, perfectionism is is a positive attribute that can bring you a lot. For example, perfectionism ensures me of a big internal drive. For example: after I completed my hairdresser academy, I finished 3 more educations while modeling, I delivery good work and am disciplined in keeping my body in shape for modeling by eating healthy and by working out. My hope is that my perfectionism once will also result in a perfectly tidy house;)

Are you stuck?

But watch out if you find that your perfectionism stands in your way. You will not be the first to get a burnout; something perfectionists have a good chance of, as they often want to excel in all fields. Do you feel that your perfectionism is getting in your way too much, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor and ask for a referral to a psychologist or coach. A psychologist might sound heavy, but just as your body sometimes needs a touch-up or extra support from a professional, your head can sometimes use a touch-up as well!


Some final words: relax! Enjoy! Don’t demand too much of yourself! Dance! There is much more to life than high grades, a good job, a big house, a large group of friends, nice clothes or a lean body. Easier said than done, and you know that, but sometimes something, unfortunately, bad needs to happen to realize and really do this. But still: try it!


Last year’s moment that I treasure 1: biking with closest relatives and friends.


Last year’s moment that I treasure 2: hiking with closest relatives and siter-in-law.


Last year’s moment that I treasure 3: dancing during a photoshoot at Michel Zoeter‘s studio.

What I want to know from you

Now that I’ve been so open about my perfectionism, it’s your turn now! Who can identify with my perfectionism? Would you like to say something about that? Does perfectionism stand in your way, or did it actually bring you lots of things? Do you think that you should let go of perfectionism, or do you actually cherish your perfectionism?

Thanks for reading this article. I look forward to reading your comments and feedback. I read and answer them all!

1st photo by Michel Zoeter


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About Author

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour.

I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!

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