“She can be quite murderously challenging in her perfectionism.
Take Twenty: ‘Are you sure that’s good enough?’ [Kidman says.]
“We’re going, [wearily] ‘Yeah.’ ”
Director Jane Campion about working with Nicole Kidman on “Portrait of a Lady”
Campion also said of her: “She gets a bee in her bonnet, and she’s off. She’s excited. And the passion and the feeling is stronger than any sense of censorship, and I like that.”
[Also quoted on the page: Nicole Kidman – a brief profile of high ability and complexity]
“He is a relentless perfectionist who never allows a single detail to go by without notice.
“Jerry Bruckheimer is a consummate filmmaker.. because you know that you are always going to get 120% from Jerry on anything that he does. I don’t think it is any great mystery that he has been so successful: He works harder than anybody else.”
Walt Disney Studios chairman Richard Cook. [Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 17, 2003]
Psychologist Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D. declares that “Perfectionism has taken a bum rap.
“Were it not for perfectionism, we would be in short supply of all those myriad human activities we deem extraordinary, excellent, outstanding or great in quality.”
From his article In Praise of Perfectionism.
“The natural trajectory of giftedness in childhood is not a six-figure salary, perfect happiness, and a guaranteed place in Who’s Who. It is the deepening of the personality, the strengthening of one’s value system, the creation of greater and greater challenges for oneself, and the development of broader avenues for expressing compassion…becoming a better person and helping make this a better world.”
From my article: Reaching for Excellence: Gifted Students.
In her article on the topic, Dr. Silverman writes:
“The pursuit of excellence is a personal journey into higher realms of existence, a journey that enriches the self and the world through its bounty. It is the crucible that purifies the spirit – the manifestation of life’s longing for evolution.
“A cherished goal for only a small portion of the population, excellence is the hard-won prize of those whose zeal and dedication are fueled by the drive to attain perfection, as they envision it. … Chiefly an affliction of the gifted.. perfectionism is not a malady; it is a tool of self-development. ….
“Perfectionism is the most misunderstood aspect of the personality of the gifted. Psychology characterizes it in extremely negative ways, which may be counterproductive to the development of the gifted individual. There are positive as well as negative aspects of perfectionism, depending on how it is channeled.”
From her article Perfectionism: The Crucible of Giftedness, Advanced Development, 1999, 8, 47-61 [PDF].
So it can often be a motivation in the pursuit of excellence and mastery, but perfectionism can also have a dark side, enabling unhealthy obsession and self-criticism, or impeding spontaneous imagination or creative play, among other harms.