You know the
saying, “It takes one to know one”? Well, I would bet that some of you struggle
with perfectionism—even though you might not even recognize it.
about perfectionism is that it is often well-hidden behind the guise of what we
might think of as having very high standards. While I think high standards and living
a dignified life are noble characteristics. But when people need to manicure
everything they do, chances are it’s a cover for something else going on inside
of themselves that is painful—and they don’t want anyone to know about it.
For many years, I was caught up in an exhausting cycle of always looking perfect and dedicating myself to hard work. But through therapy, I learned that my excessive behaviors were a way of compensating for how insecure, unlovable, and damaged I felt on the inside from the traumatic experiences I survived as a child.
As I have
learned more about how perfectionism can take hold, I know that not all
perfectionists come from truly traumatic backgrounds. For example, if your
parents tended to be more critical and scrutinizing, it can be hard to get their
voices out of your head. This can drive behaviors that stem from not feeling
like you’re good enough as an adult.
With perfectionism, “perfect” is never good enough because your ability to find fault with even the most minute thing has no end point. And, at its core, perfectionism may be driven by depression and/or anxiety (check and check!), but it’s often missed because it’s usually masked by achievement, appearance, possessions, and/or status.
As I worked
through my issues from the past and came to terms with my own unhealthy perfectionism,
I accumulated a toolbox of realistic thinking strategies to help me push past the
self-criticism I was prone to when something I did wasn’t perfect.
I am much more lenient on myself with any perceived shortcomings, I still use
these when I have those moments of self-doubt.
I think these 6 practices will help you too:
For more inspiration, order my newest book, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.
If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.
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