What is perfectionism?

Perfectionism is seen as a positive trait that increases our chances for success.  However, people who strive for perfection set impossibly high standards for themselves and use outcomes to determine their self-worth.  When they fail to meet these high standards, they have the tendency to beat themselves up and question their self-esteem.  Those who strive for perfection experience all or nothing thinking, as well as self-defeating thoughts.  “I’m either a failure or a success.  I’m not good enough.  I should have tried harder.  I’m a failure.”  This can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, resentment, and low self-esteem.  Below are some tips on how to overcome perfectionism:

10 Tips for Overcoming Perfectionism

  1. Practice setting more realistic expectations that you and others can reasonably meet.
  2. Practice self-compassion.  Try giving yourself the same kindness you would show others.
  3. See opportunities for growth.  Mistakes are a normal and helpful part of learning.
  4. Remind yourself you are worthy because of all the good qualities you possess.
  5. Enjoy the journey and trust the process.  Try doing things for the experience or the fun of it.
  6. Practice being true to yourself instead of doing things only to make others happy.
  7. Practice being more assertive about what you want to prevent anger and resentment.
  8. Challenge all or nothing thinking.  Success comes in different shapes and sizes.
  9. Try doing some things imperfectly.  This may mean leaving some of the dishes undone or treating yourself to a cookie.
  10. Get out of the habit of comparing yourself to others and know your worth.

Overcoming perfectionism is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.  If you would like help transforming self-defeat into an opportunity for growth and self-compassion, please call Specialized Therapy Associates at 201-488-6678 and schedule an appointment today.  We look forward to meeting you soon!