What does it mean to be perfect? Does striving for perfection make our lives better, or is it a risky path that can have negative effects? These are questions I often explore in my practice with individuals who struggle with perfectionism. From personal experience, I can tell you that if left unchecked, perfectionism can have a negative impact on your mental health, interpersonal relationships, and general well-being. I find great fulfillment in helping others learn more about their perfectionistic habits and find solutions to create a life of balance and peace. If this interests you then keep reading!
According to the APA perfectionism is “the tendency to demand of others or of oneself an extremely high or even flawless level of performance, in excess of what is required by the situation”. It can appear in a variety of ways, from demanding perfection in relationships and at work to being harsh and critical on both oneself and other people. As a result of how pervasive it is, feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem may result. Perfectionism can be particularly harmful because it is frequently a coping mechanism we use to avoid or conceal feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. We might be reluctant to try new things or push ourselves because we are worried about failing. It might cause us to believe that we must be faultless in order to be accepted and loved, which can also causes us to unfairly demand the same of our partners or friends. The pressure can be so overwhelming that it can lead to dangerous behaviors like self-harm, substance abuse, and even suicide. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of perfectionism and take steps to address them. Click here to learn 5 signs that may indicate you are a perfectionist.
Here are a few steps you can take to help overcome perfectionism:
- Make a conscious effort to focus on progress, not perfection.
- Frequently remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and that no one is perfect.
- Set realistic goals for yourself and others.
- Practice self-compassion and positive affirmations.
- Create a healthy balance between being productive and taking breaks.
Finally, be aware that it is unrealistic to be in control of every aspect of life. With the right help and support, you can learn to embrace imperfection and find a healthier, more balanced way of living.
If you or someone you know is struggling with perfectionism, let’s talk. Together, we can work on understanding and managing your perfectionism so that it doesn’t interfere with your mental health. Click below to book your free consultation and start your journey toward healing.