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Perfectionism

Perfectionism

Often people think perfectionism is a positive thing.  Striving toward high standards and setting achievable goals both help self-improvement, but this is different from perfectionism.  Perfectionism encompasses putting constant pressure on yourself to meet high standards that are often not concrete and identifiable. When we strive toward goals that are unclear, unachievable or achievable at significant cost to ourselves, it is detrimental to our mental health.  When we can’t reach these goals, it leads us to have self-critical thoughts and hold negative beliefs about ourselves.  

 

Take inventory of your symptoms.  The following are common symptoms of Perfectionism:

 

  • Low self-esteem. 
  • Self-critical, low mood and anxious ruminative thought patterns. 
  • Relentless striving for extremely high standards.
  • High standards that appear unreasonable to others.  
  • High standards that are arbitrary in nature. 
  • Basing your self-worth on your ability to achieve these unrelenting standards.
  • Basing your self-worth on the validation of others recognizing your achievements. 
  • Continuing to work toward arbitrary, unrelenting standards despite coming at a significant personal cost.
  • Difficulty concentrating. 
  • Feeling hopeless, shame, overwhelmed and demotivated. 
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