Are you a "Type A" personality with little patience for mindless mistakes and mediocrity? Sure, an A+ performance and a job well-done is something to be proud of, but is too much of a good thing simply too much?

Perfectionism can be a blessing. Nobody wants a so-so surgeon or a repairman with a "screw loose." But most people may fare better if they leave their perfectionism at the door and learn to embrace a mentality that accepts that not everything will be 100 percent 100 percent of the time.

These three reasons explain why perfectionism may not be so perfect after all. You can still get the job done well – even spectacularly – without the weight of perfectionism crushing down.

The Pressure Can Be Prohibitive

Billy Joel sings, "You have to learn to pace yourself/Pressure/You're just like everybody else/Pressure…" You know what is a major cause of pressure? Perfectionism. The stress you put yourself under may make your goals too great to bear.

As Utica College describes, "You are constantly busting your butt to live up to that impossible standard and feel mortified when somebody realizes that you are, in fact, imperfect like everyone else."

The Nest notes how stress can be stifling, "Perfectionism creates stress, because realistically creating a perfect product demands perfect conditions. These conditions won't always be present in the workplace. Distractions, sudden interruptions, and unexpected new developments will constantly shift production and change your day."

The pressure of striving for "perfect" can be a pitfall. Loosening up can be a lifesaver.

It Can Lead to Procrastination

There's no time like the present thumbor.forbes.com

Procrastination may seem like the last thing that coexists with perfectionism, but the drive to be the best can lend itself to setbacks and stagnation. As My Body + Soul points out, "Unhealthy perfectionism can turn people into procrastinators or avoiders. They take longer to do a task and won't just give things a go."

Career Addict notes, "Perfectionists usually have a specific way of doing things which they deem as the best. They assume that they know everything and are therefore unwilling to embrace input from other people. This denies them the opportunity of being exposed to new situations and ideas they would have learned from."

Personal Excellence explains why this correlation is common, "When it's time to get to work, they (procrastinators) become extremely detail oriented, start to obsess about every single thing, get weighed down by every problem, and get caught up by the need to create everything perfectly. Over time, such intricate attention becomes too painful, and this subsequently leads to procrastination — putting off a task to get some relief, but is in actual fact pushing away the pain that they create with each task."

There is nothing perfect about missing deadlines or pulling "all-nighters."

Your Well-Being Can Suffer

No pain, no gain? reginaboyd.com

Be it mental or physical (or a combination of the two), perfectionism can lead to problems, and one's health can be at risk. Emotionally, "[perfectionists] want to achieve precision in everything, yet this precision creates great unhappiness for themselves," notes Personal Excellence. "In the end, they build this cave of misery that they suffer in each day." Career Addict adds, "Perfectionists are usually workaholics who will not stop until they achieve the result they desire. They constantly sacrifice recreation, food and sleep for the sake of work."

As per BBC Future, "The drawback of perfectionism isn't just that it holds you back from being your most successful, productive self. Perfectionistic tendencies have been linked to a laundry list of clinical issues: depression and anxiety (even in children), self-harm, social anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, hoarding, chronic headaches, and, most damning of all, even early mortality and suicide."

You are stretched too thin, exhausted, and ultimately, unsatisfied.

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.