This is the second post on perfectionism. In my last post, I described what perfectionism is, what leads to it, as well as the different types. You can read it here.
Perfectionism is problematic when having high standards get in the way of performing or lead to anxiety and depression. Many perfectionists struggle with procrastination or avoidance of certain tasks as they have a hard time recognizing the appropriateness of standards and beliefs.
If your beliefs tend to be rigid and excessive you likely struggle from all or noting thinking (i.e. only feeling good if 100% is achieved in every single course). This kind of thinking can lead to negative comparisons with others, leading you to feel worse about yourself and further fuel any perfectionistic behaviours.
Perfectionism is also associated with a constant need for control. You may believe you have more control in certain situations than you actually. This can lead to overwhelm, distress, and difficulty making decisions.
How to overcome perfectionism?
If your perfectionism is problematic do not fear! It can be helped.
Start by identifying your perfectionistic thoughts and behaviours. Then, come up with specific goals around the changes you want to (i.e. spend a maximum of 10 minutes on any purchase decision).
It can also be helpful to find strategies to help you achieve your goals. Common ones for treating perfectionism include but are not limited to:
- Alternative thoughts: Coming up with alternative thoughts to counter automatic perfectionist beliefs. Alternative thoughts should be both helpful and realistic
- Hypothesis testing: Check out the accuracy of your beliefs by carrying out behaviour experiments to test your predictions
- Taking another perspective: Think about how somebody else might view the situation and what words they might offer to help you
Having goals and strategies for perfectionistic behaviours and thoughts can result in positive change that reduces the negative impacts of perfectionism.
It can be difficult to manifest change when you’re too close to an issue.
If this is sounds like you contact me now to loosen the hold perfectionism has on you.