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Perfectionism Scale

How much perfectionist thinking do you experience in your life?  Is your mental vocabulary saturated with "I shoulds" and "I musts"?  If you're not sure whether or not you struggle with perfectionist thinking, you might want to test yourself with the following scale.  This inventory lists a number of attitudes or beliefs that people sometimes hold.

Decide how frequently each statement reflects your thinking.  Fill in the blank with the number that best describes how you think most of the time.  Be sure to choose only one answer for each attitude.  There are no right or wrong answers, so try to respond honestly.


If I don't set the highest standards for myself, I am likely to end up a second-rate person.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

People will probably think less of me if I make a mistake.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

If I cannot do something really well, there is little point in doing it at all.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

I should be upset if I make a mistake.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

If I try hard enough, I should be able to excel at anything I attempt.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

It is shameful for me to display weaknesses or foolish behavior.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

I shouldn't have to repeat the same mistake many times.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

An average performance is bound to be unsatisfying to me.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

Failing at something important means I'm less of a person.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often

If I scold myself for failing to live up to my expectations, it will help me to do better in the future.
1) never
2) rarely
3) sometimes
4) often


Now add up score by using the numbers next to your answers.  The total may generally be interpreted as follows:

10-20   non-perfectionistic
21-30    average tendencies toward perfectionism
31-40   very perfectionistic

If you scored in the high range, go back and analyze each statement.  To which did you respond with often?  Those statements are your irrational beliefs, which need to be challenged.

This questionnaire is from a book titled: