Perfectionism first describes the effort of people interested in an ideal of perfection or a very ambitious goal in many areas of life . Perfectionistic behavior is justifiable if there is tolerance for one’s own mistakes and those of others. However, the goal of being perfect also shows a strong fear of doing something wrong and can cause self-esteem issues.

What is it that you might discover that will make you feel overwhelmed? What are the possible obstacles to your commitment that you might encounter along the way? What is it that drowns out the voice of your silent despair and loneliness due to the fear you have of change?

Here are some situations that may cause you to give up trying, or maybe never start. Most of them are exclusive to the perfectionist. Others are more about the challenges of change themselves.

Your commitment must be perfect … if not, you embarrass yourself.

You pride yourself on getting the job done. If you have set something like a goal or a task that you want to complete, you need to ensure your success. But when that goal is not easy to achieve, you feel uncomfortable.

Many perfectionists tend to feel lonely and suffer tremendously as they become extremely impatient with the time it takes for real change. After just a few weeks, they hope to be able to alter the hiding patterns that have taken years to develop, and suddenly become vulnerable and open.

How is perfectionism expressed?

Perfectionists relate their self-esteem in an exaggerated way to performance . They feel that their recognition and acceptance by others depends on their doing their best. The perfectionist’s focus is less on successes and more on mistakes.

This creates a feeling of suffering if you are unable to consistently meet their extraordinarily high standards. This can lead to various symptoms, such as fear of exam situations or procrastination behavior. This is typical for those affected, as they repeatedly find reasons to declare that their results are not good enough .

Perfectionists often need a comparatively long time to achieve results in their daily work. They can often be difficult to delegate because they want to do a lot on their own to meet the high demands. The resulting feeling of not being able to finish never puts perfectionists to the test. In the long term, they are at risk of burnout or depression from the stress that arises. Even eating disorders are possible in response to chronic stress.

How to go from perfectionism to development without pressure?

What can you do against perfectionism? How can you deal with perfectionism? Therapy is based on the type and severity of the obsessive compulsive disorder and is individually tailored to the person in question. Typical for treatment is behavioral psychotherapeutic therapy, drug therapy is less frequently associated. Relaxation procedures can also help you deal with perfectionistic behavior.

In the same way, it is important to carry out a study on our behaviors and our approach, it is important to analyze what are those small details of the perfectionist that hinder progress due to great expectation.

Common pitfalls of perfectionists and solutions

These are some of the main obstacles that are presented to people who are perfectionists, in them we can also find a way to achieve positive results by reversing their approach.

1. You start with a goal that is too difficult

Practice makes a master. However, you have to choose a goal that is for you and discard those complicated things that require altering your thinking or behavior. If, for example, the goal you have chosen first is to open up more to your friends, or at least to one other person. But you can’t think of anyone you trust that way. Accepting this answer is much better than hating the fact that you don’t feel the trust you want in someone else or wasting energy trying to find someone for weeks.

Pick a goal that is truly achievable , and that isn’t an impossible challenge from the start. (And again, it is not in your nature to choose simplicity.) Do not put on makeup to go to the market. Take a nap. Go to the movies instead of being productive. It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is that you start. And celebrate the achievement of that beginning.

2. You don’t ask for help or something you need

Let’s say your therapist has asked you to start journaling about your emotions, trying to feel them as you go. It is surely something that is very difficult for you. You are not used to revealing your vulnerability, so you can avoid the topic of the journal entirely, and if he asks you how you have done with that, you will just say, “Good.”

You can also stumble a bit, take a big sigh, and raise the issue yourself. You can learn to ask for help. Learn to take risks.

You ask, “How exactly can I catch up with my feelings? I can write about them, but I can’t feel them ”. Research has shown that perfectionists can describe their feelings quite well, but actually feeling them is another matter . An experienced therapist can help you come up with strategies to work around that, whether it be mindfulness exercises, meditation, observing your progress, or other components that might help feelings arise, such as writing in letter form rather than free form.

Asking for help is very liberating. Knowing how to ask for it is having freedom at our disposal.

3. As you give up the things you’ve tried and know they work, your stress will increase.

The characteristics – the behaviors and beliefs – of the PHDP have served a purpose. They have kept you safe. They have ordered your life. They have become how you know yourself and others know you.

“Jonas is just a born leader.”

“I don’t know how Melanie gets everything she does.”

If you start to allow others to take the initiative, if you don’t follow through with everything on your to-do list for the day or week and take time for yourself, if you start to realize that you have kept painful emotions at bay, but they’re still there waiting for you, then your stress level will increase. Positive change is stressful. You are not going to know exactly what to feel or how to feel it. It will be uncomfortable and can provoke sudden emotions, such as anger or fear. And the urge to hide or avoid those feelings will be strong.

You are giving up what you know has not worked in the long term, but has certainly been the answer in the short term. It takes a great deal of courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to really find hope in lasting change.

4. Stress can increase any anxiety or need for control you have.

You can suffer from diagnosable mental illness along with your perfectionism and PHD. It could be an eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or anxiety. You could try to escape your depression and anxiety by using alcohol, sedatives, compulsive shopping, or other addictions.

These problems can easily get worse when you start to challenge your old behaviors, get help, and start feeling emotions that you have been suppressing, perhaps your entire life. The need to escape them can be paramount, so you stop eating, or drink too much, or go back to your compulsive shopping.

It is important to get all the help you need. Contact your therapist or doctor to let them know what’s going on. Make sure, if you take medications, that they continue to work. You may need to suspend your perfectionist activities to deal with the serious consequences of some of these problems.

This is not a failure. You are learning along the way. And that is self-acceptance, accepting where you are right now. And work with the real you, right there.

5. Those around you reject this new change

There is also the rejection of change by others, something with which it is very difficult to deal with. For example, Felicia, a woman struggling to change, tells her 15-year-old son, “I’m going to start taking better care of myself and stop doing so much for other people.” Her son’s quick response was, “Good for you, Mom. But please, remain as you are with me ”.

Your family and friends can support you in your change , they may even have been worried about you. But if you make serious changes in your own choices, you will also change their lives. And sometimes, that’s not very welcome. Or you yourself struggle with the idea that someone’s life could be difficult because of the changes you want to make for yourself. You are not used to your own needs being considered.

Or you could be surrounded by people who don’t want you to stop overworking. Their own lives are easier because of that. Or they have other reasons that imply that you are constantly giving. This could be your employer, your spouse, or even a friend.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *