Perfectionism is often mistaken for being ‘perfect’ or ‘doing something perfectly’. Some people look at perfectionism as a good thing as it helps us to strive for excellence. To reach our potential. To do our best. It’s what people who are high achievers are like. But there is also an unhelpful and bad side of perfectionism.

The bad side of perfectionism includes 3 things:

  1. Striving for extremely high standards: Perfectionists have very high standards for themselves and expect the same from others. This puts a lot of pressure on everyone.
  2. Linking self-worth to achievement: Perfectionists often connect their self-worth to meeting and keeping up with high expectations. When they don’t meet expectations, they feel inadequate, affecting their self-esteem.
  3. Experiencing negative consequences: Chasing perfection can have serious consequences like stress, anxiety, burnout, and strained relationships. Despite the negative consequences, perfectionists may persist in their pursuit of unattainable standards.
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How A Psychologist Can Help

Treatment methods like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based approaches can help you to learn strategies to manage and overcome the bad side of perfectionism. CBT is a structured and goal-oriented therapy that helps you to identify and challenge the unrealistic and self-critical thoughts that fuel perfectionism. It equips you with practical strategies to set more realistic standards and manage the accompanying anxiety. Mindfulness-based approaches often include techniques such as mindfulness meditation and increasing your awareness in the present moment. This includes being aware of your thoughts and feelings, and reducing the need for unattainable perfection.

A psychologist can help you understand where your perfectionism comes from and how to prevent the bad side of perfectionism effect your life. You can get support on developing healthier coping mechanisms, improving your self-esteem, and fostering a more balanced approach to setting and achieving goals. At Mind Lift Psychology, your psychologist will help you find the best treatment and plan for your situation.

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on (07) 3831 3936 or fill out our contact form here.