Perfectionism is the fear of looking or feeling imperfect. It’s not how you actually look, it’s based on a deep insecurity of self. The desire to be perfect is a dangerous one. It can stop us from taking risks, put too much pressure on ourselves, and cause our work to suffer. Perfectionism sets you up for disappointment. If we are striving to be perfect, then it can cause us to become disappointed when things don’t go according to plan. We’ve been setting ourselves up for failure before we even took the first step! In this blog post, I will go some reasons why perfectionism is the problem and not the solution and how counseling can help!
Perfectionism can prevent you from accomplishing anything
If you are constantly striving to not feel imperfect, it can prevent you from taking risks and doing anything that could potentially make a mistake. It causes us to focus on the negative rather than what’s positive about our work or life.
Perfectionism gives an unrealistic portrayal of reality. Perfection does not exist in this world! When we expect perfection, then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment when life doesn’t go according to plan.
Perfectionism is the problem because it causes us to have a lack of self-love and acceptance which can affect our mental health. People who strive for perfection will often have low levels of self-esteem as well as anxiety or depression from trying to be perfect in every aspect of their lives (including work, family life, friends). They may also feel like they never measure up no matter what they do.
When you desire something so badly that there’s nothing else left until you achieve it; this leaves little time or energy for other things on your plate! Perfectionists don’t usually realize how much time goes into being perfect
The First Step
The first step is recognizing the problem. The fact that you’re even reading this is amazing! You may not be aware that your need for everything to be perfect has led you into habits like procrastination or unhealthy thinking patterns. It’s important to recognize when this happens so that it doesn’t lead you down an inevitable path of unhappiness. Once we’re able to see our inner struggles with perfectionism, then we can work on ways of coping in order to make changes.
One powerful tool I use with my clients during a counseling session is to develop the skill of mindfulness.
This skill teaches people to notice, and focus their attention on the present moment. This technique has been proven to help with anxiety, depression, phobias, etc.
By becoming more aware of thoughts that trigger these feelings you can learn how to let them go and take back control over your life!
The second step is coaching yourself through a mindful breathing exercise:
Close your eyes and imagine sitting in nature – think about what it might look like around you; maybe some trees? A babbling brook nearby? Then try taking three deep breaths before opening your eyes again. The point here is not necessarily trying to find peace during this time but rather experiencing one’s body without judgement or worry for just a few moments. It can
It’s impossible to be perfect all the time
This perpetual loop of unhappiness and disappointed expectations can be exhausting and even downright depressing. The endless disappointment with one’s self for not living up to some standard of perfection is a never-ending cycle that only leads to more unhappiness in the end.
It starts by being satisfied with who you are and what you’ve already achieved so that you can stop looking at your current state as just an imperfect one from which there is always room for improvement
Ultimately, there will always be things we want to change about ourselves or our lives but instead of feeling overwhelmed by all those “to do” lists, it may help us deal better if we focus on small changes first – like taking care of ourselves!
When it comes to counseling for perfectionism we have to focus on these “perfectionistic tendencies” that can distort our self esteem, sense of self, lead to self criticism,
Perfectionism prevents you from enjoying what you have accomplished.
In performance coaching, we call this “the gap”.
Do you find that no matter how much success you have, You are unhappy with the progress that you have made? Do you feel like you are still too far from achieving your biggest goals? The problem is not in the amount of things you have done or how good they are. The problem is in how you measure them.
If you find that although you are achieving a lot, you feel unhappy, then it might be because your mind is on the wrong thing. A simple mindset shift can make you happy. This will stop making your goals seem unreachable and will make them feel more achievable. You will be more confident in your ability to create bigger goals and this
Instead of measuring your success against others or your future, think about a simple tweak. Focus on measuring backwards – seeing the great things you’ve accomplished. No matter how big or small, we all have wins. We can use these wins and stack them together to build momentum.
Focus on your own progress instead.
Counseling helps you focus on your own progress.
Remember that counseling is about supporting yourself through imperfections, not overcoming them!
So why does this type of counseling work? Counseling helps people identify problems in their lives, such as perfectionism – which can cause stress and unhappiness. The therapist will help the client develop skills to change these behaviors and feelings so they feel better overall. One of the benefits of counseling is that it can help people increase their self-confidence.
Counselors are there to listen and offer guidance – but not dictate! Overcoming perfectionism means you will make mistakes. We all have a fear of failure. We all are self critical at some point. But we have to understand that our progress is not linear and we are not always going to be happy.
The idea is to focus on understanding why you have these feelings and create space between your thought and your reaction. The therapy process can help you shift from focusing on making mistakes to feeling good enough and eventually away from self criticism. It’s not realistic to expect to overcome this mindset and behavior in a day or a week. But with an accomplished counselor who can help you to focus and shift your value to self-worth you can break the perpetual chains of perfectionism.
People who measure accomplishments in terms of specifics tend to be happier and a lot more energized than people who speak and think in generalities.
##It can keep people around you feeling inadequate, leading to resentment and unhappiness.
Comparison is the thief of joy — Theodore Roosevelt
Ole Theodore was right when he said that. The pressure to be perfect can lead us down the path of comparing ourselves to others, which is tiring and unfulfilling in the end.
Some people with perfectionism might put themselves on unrealistic deadlines or feel like they need everything done right now when really they’re just feeling paralyzed by their own desire to not be seen as “imperfect”.
Perfectionism prevents you from getting better.
Perfectionists tend to over rely on social media and have unhealthy boundaries with the expectations of others. When you feel your standards are so high you get stuck in a loop. When you’re:
- Spending 30 minutes writing and rewriting a two-sentence email.
- Believing that missing two points on a test is a sign of failure.
- Difficulty being happy for others who are successful.
- Holding oneself to the standards of others’ accomplishments or comparing oneself unfavorably and unrealistically to others.
- Skipping class or avoiding a chore because it is pointless to make an effort unless perfection can be achieved.
- Focusing on the end product rather than the process of learning.
- Avoiding playing a game or trying a new activity with friends for fear of being shown up as less than perfect.
Then it’s time to reach out to a mental health professional. At our counseling office in Tampa, FL we work with high achievers of all kinds to help them reduce the stress, understand healthy boundaries, overcome obsessive compulsive issues, while still having high standards enjoy the process of achieving their goals. Working with a professional who understands perfectionism can help you reduce your fail of failure. Counseling can help you develop helpful tendencies and overcome low self esteem.
The Next Step
Reach out to our counseling office in Tampa, FL for more information on how counseling can help you develop helpful tools, frameworks and mindsets! Contact us today! You can call 813-534-0311 or click the button below to schedule a visit.