Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Do you strive for excellence in everything you do, no matter how minor the task might seem? If so, you’re not alone. In our society, perfectionism is often seen as a desirable trait. Many women feel the need to be perfect in order to feel good about themselves, and they consider anything less a failure. But what is perfectionism, exactly, and is it really such a desirable trait? In this post, we’ll explore perfectionism and look at ways to overcome it if it’s proving to be harmful in your life.
What is perfectionism?
Perfectionism is a personality trait that can be defined as a set of excessively high standards that an individual applies to themselves, and a tendency to be overly critical of oneself. Perfectionists often feel that they can never meet their own standards and are constantly falling short. As a result, it is often accompanied by feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and anxiety. Perfectionism can lead to significant distress and impairment in many areas of life, including work, school, and personal relationships.
One reason why being a perfectionist isn’t so perfect is that it can be a limiting belief. That is, if you believe that you have to be perfect in order to be successful or happy, you may never feel like you’re good enough and therefore don’t deserve to be content or fulfilled. Additionally, perfectionism can also lead to imposter syndrome, which is when you feel like you’re a fraud or have no right to achieve your goals or be as good as others.
Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: if I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of blame, judgement, and shame.Brene Brown
The negative impacts of perfectionism
Perfectionism is often accompanied by feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and anxiety. It can lead to significant distress and impairment in many areas of life, including work, school, and personal relationships. Individuals who score high on measures of perfectionism tend to be more dissatisfied with their lives and achievements, and are more likely to experience depression and eating disorders.
One of the limiting beliefs of perfectionism is that there is only one right way to do things. This can lead to rigidity and inflexibility in every area of life, and prevent people from being open to new ideas or different ways of doing things which might actually bring greater happiness or satisfaction.
Perfectionism can also be a major source of stress and anxiety. Individuals who are perfectionists tend to be harder on themselves than others, and are constantly striving for an unattainable standard. This can lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, and overwhelm.
In order to go on living one must try to escape the death involved in perfectionism.Hannah Arendt
How to overcome perfectionism
If you think you might be a perfectionist, there are a few things you can do to start making some changes. First, try to become more aware of your thoughts and behaviours. Notice when you are being critical of yourself or setting unrealistic expectations. Make a note of your thoughts and reactions in a journal so you can identify patterns.
Another way to overcome perfectionism is to start practising self-compassion. This involves being kind and understanding towards yourself, especially when you make mistakes or fall short of your own expectations. Self-compassion can help you to let go of unrealistic standards and learn to accept yourself as you are.
Also try to focus on the process of what you are doing, rather than the outcome. This means enjoying your activities, without worrying about whether or not you will be successful. For example, if you are painting a picture, focus on the act of painting and the pleasure it brings, rather than on whether or not the end result is perfect. If you are running, pay attention to the pleasure and satisfaction you feel during the run, rather than always trying to achieve a faster time.
Finally, it is important to remember that making mistakes is a normal and essential part of life. Everyone makes mistakes, and it is through these mistakes that we learn and grow. Try to view your mistakes as opportunities for learning, rather than as failures.
If you would like help dealing with the limiting belief of perfectionism, you could try using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, or Tapping). This type of energy psychology has been shown to be highly effective in eliminating negative beliefs and damaging behaviours. Once you start tapping, you may be surprised at how quickly your procrastinating behaviours begin to dissipate and you start to feel much freer.
I’d love to help you work on your procrastination so you can understand where it came from and release it to set yourself free to live the life you deserve. If you are ready for freedom and a more fulfilling life, please send me a message or book a free call at this link.
While having high standards can be motivating and lead to success, perfectionism can also be a major source of stress and anxiety. Perfectionists often feel like they’re never good enough, no matter how hard they try. They might procrastinate out of fear of making a mistake, or they might be excessively critical of themselves and others.
Perfectionism can have some serious negative effects on your mental and physical health. Perfectionists often have difficulty enjoying life because they are constantly striving for an unattainable goal. They may also have trouble maintaining healthy relationships due to their high standards and over-demanding behaviours.
If you think you might be a perfectionist, try some of the actions listed above. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself and understand that everyone makes mistakes. We all have flaws, and that’s okay.