Dealing With Perfectionism And How Therapy Can Help




Many people suffer in varying degrees with perfectionism. However, for some, it’s tied to their lifestyle, while others tie it into their profession. Perfectionism is when you strive to reach a high standard and expectation that is not realistically attainable at all. With perfectionism, anything short of perfect can cause an internal disaster. This is also known as “all or nothing” thinking. Perfectionism can increase stress, anxiety, depression, disappointment, and regret.

What Does Perfectionism Thinking Look Like?

Everyone has likely experienced perfectionism thinking at some point in their life. However, some people suffer from it daily. Perfectionism thinking looks like this:

  • I want to do better than anyone
  • I must be the best at everything
  • I want my superiors to like me
  • People will think I’m lazy if I take a day off
  • I want to be respected/acknowledged
  • I won’t survive if I make one mistake
  • What if I can’t?
  • I know I won’t do well even though I’m fully prepared.
  • If my work is perfect, only good things will happen

Perfectionism thinking can be brought on by high-stress situations like a big presentation at work or school and even sometimes family stress.

What does Engaging in Perfectionist Behavior Look Like

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t do it because I know I won’t be able to do it perfectly”? This is one of many perfectionist behaviors that those who suffer from perfectionism deal with on a daily basis. Here are some other perfectionist behaviors you might be familiar with.

  • Waiting for the right moment
  • Seeing mistakes that others don’t
  • Avoiding new things out of fear of making a mistake
  • Spending obsessive amounts of time trying to make something “perfect”

These behaviors can be almost debilitating and can possibly complete a self-fulfilling prophecy of not being “good enough.”

How Can Therapy Help?

No one is perfect and therapy can help you see that. Seeking therapy for perfectionist thinking and behaviors can help you shift your thoughts into more self-serving, positive thoughts.

Our counselors can help to teach you how to find a home in compromise. In fact, compromise can help you switch your thinking from black and white to finding fulfillment in the gray areas. If you’re having trouble with perfectionism, please give us a call today to set up an appointment. No one is perfect and frankly, you don’t have to be either to be happy.