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Perfectionism is an inner belief that things have to be done 100% perfectly. Interestingly enough though, this belief may not flow into every aspect of a person’s life. For some people, perfectionism may extend to all aspects of their personal and work life, however for others, they may think they have to be perfect in their work life, but it’s not so much of an issue in their home and personal life. Whichever is the case, living with perfectionism can be very stressful.
A perfectionist strives for perfection, placing incredible pressure upon themselves. In their mind, they have to be the perfect person, not let anyone down, be super organised and not make mistakes. Unfortunately, human beings are not designed to live this way, they aren’t perfect and they make mistakes. So, for the perfectionist, this unrealistic expectation increases stress levels, increases the likelihood of fear, frustration and disappointment, reinforces low self-esteem and crushes the ability to make a quick decision.
The quest to be perfect is not only stressful, time consuming and unrealistic, it often masks an underlying cause. This can include fear of failure, insecurity, low self-esteem and an inner belief that the real self is not good enough to be accepted by loved ones, friends, work colleagues and the wider community.
Common behaviour patterns and thinking styles associated with a perfectionist includes:
Tips for managing perfectionism include:
If you feel counselling can help you to manage living with perfectionism, please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400 416 535, or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.