What is perfectionism? Perfectionism is the need to be or appear to be perfect, or even believe that it's possible to achieve perfection.
It is often thought to be a good thing to be a perfectionist as there are many ways that it is reinforced in western society. However, it is important to be mindful of the distinction between perfectionism and working hard to be better. The difference is that people who struggle with perfectionism believe that nothing is worthwhile unless it is perfect. It is hard for them to be proud of their progress, learning, or hard work. They often compare themselves to other people and constantly feel like they are falling short.
Perfectionism is associated with vulnerability and lack of resilience. This may result in relationship issues as those who struggle with perfectionism tend to hold others to the same level of perfection as themselves. This will make them appear critical of their partner or spouse.
Perfectionism is born out of:
1) Fear of failure
2) A desire to be loved and admired
3) The need to please one's parents
Ways to treat Perfectionism:
1) Label it
2) Identify its origin
3) Challenge "all or nothing" or "black or white" thinking
4) Write down or journal positive affirmations
5) Become aware of your self-talk
6) Mess up on purpose
7) Try a new hobby
8) Seek professional therapy
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Blue Sage Counseling and Wellness, and the information provided by Ashley Francis, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Ashley Francis is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.