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31 Days to a Positive Inner Voice: Perfectionism

Many of us are perfectionists at least to a degree. Striving for perfection in our lives however can be very negative. Often times perfectionists are actually achieve less then others and worry more. Considering no body is perfect its understandable that striving to be so can be harmful to our inner voice and self esteem.

How do you know if you’re a perfectionist?

You may be a perfectionist if you think in all-or-nothing terms.

This can harm our motivation and reaching for goals. This is a big reason why perfectionists can actually achieve less. Have you ever thought “I am not going to get the job so why even try?”, “I am not going to get the promotion so why try hard,” or “They won’t like me so why go try to talk to them.” each of these are signs of all-or-nothing thinking. You foresee that the outcome will not be perfect so you do not try.

You cannot trust others to do a job correct so you rarely delegate.

Micro managing can be the result. This can be harmful in your work and personal life because if we are not able to trust others to help us we often get overwhelmed. When overwhelmed often times we drop balls and are unable to complete tasks. As a perfectionist this can make us feel unsuccessful often causing depression.

You have high standards of yourself, and often of others as well.

You may be a perfectionist if you’re always looking to be your best. This can also come across negatively when you are constantly fearful that others see you as a failure. When we have high standards for others we often expect them to be their best at all times as well. This is harmful to relationships, working and otherwise.

You have trouble completing projects.

When I was younger I had the hardest time with this and usually it came out with my art. I love to draw and paint. Often times, however, I would not complete a piece because I always felt it needed something more to be perfect. I also would trash pieces that I did not feel were perfect even though they were very good.

You obsess over situations when you were not perfect.

This can be obsessing over what you should have done. You overthink every aspect of an interaction, every project, every interview and think I should have done this. This leads to greater self criticism, low self esteem, anxiety and depression.

Perfectionism can be a cause for eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies.

Perfectionism is bad for your self esteem.

  • You never feel good enough
  • It feeds stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues
  • Perfectionism can effect your performance.
  • You overlook the positives
  • You can miss good opportunities.

How do you stop being a perfectionist?

  • Recognize perfectionism as a problem
  • Set realistic goals
  • Look for positives
  • Love yourself, including imperfections
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Think of mistakes as lessons


31 Days to a Positive Inner Voice

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