Woman writing in journal

Understanding Perfectionism & How to Get it Under Control

Do you have perfectionistic tendencies?

We tend to think of perfectionism as a positive trait – we may envision a very successful person who is detail-oriented and reliable. However, there is a difference between “healthy striving” and problematic perfectionism.

What is perfectionism & how does it relate to anxiety?

You can think of perfectionism as a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable. Perfectionism shows up under the anxiety umbrella of mental health challenges. It’s not the same as OCD, but these two can overlap. When excessive, perfectionism really interferes with our ability to function.⁠ Read on to understand more about how these tendencies may show up.

Signs you may have perfectionistic tendencies:⁠

✅ Procrastination. You may not want to begin a task unless you know you can do it perfectly.⁠
✅ Viewing the end product as the most important part of any undertaking. As a result, you focus less on the process of learning or completing a task to the best of your ability. ⁠
✅ Not seeing a task as finished until the result is perfect, according to your standards
✅ Taking an excessive amount of time to complete a task that does not typically take others long to complete. ⁠
✅ Avoiding trying new things because you’re not sure if you’ll be good at it. Sticking to those things you know you’re already good at.

There are 3 general types of perfectionism:

Judging yourself according to your unrealistic and unachievable expectations. Your self-worth is dependant on this attainment of perfection – and since perfection doesn’t actually exist, self-worth is often low.

Others need to be perfect, and you judge them very critically/stringently. Tendency to think very black & white, you may see others as completely supportive OR as adversaries.

A belief you won’t be accepted by others unless you show up perfectly. Hard to actually feel secure in relationships, you may be a “people pleaser” or withdraw to avoid disappointing others.

Change Your Habits and Get Unstuck

If you are struggling with Perfectionism, or have figured out that it is interfering in your life in some way, you may benefit from our Lifted Life workbook to help jumpstart your personal growth journey. Inside this therapist-designed guide are all sorts of self-reflective exercises, tools, and strategies to move out of old habits and into a more self-compassionate, better version of yourself. It’s all about building awareness of what you’re currently doing, and experimenting with some new strategies, see what works and what doesn’t!

Counselling for Perfectionism

We hope that this information has helped you to shed some light on what may be underneath your desire to be or appear perfect!⁠ This is the first step towards change. But if you are ready to dive deeper and focus on making significant changes in your life,  you may benefit from working through this with a counsellor. To book a session with one of our therapists, click here.

You might also like...