Perfectionism, How Does it Affect You?

by | Jan 17, 2021 | Anxiety, Counseling, Depression, Perfectionism

Perfectionism, How Does it Affect You?

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Perfectionism can look different to everyone.

There are three types of perfectionism:

1. Self-oriented – high standards for self, driven, self-critical

2. Other-oriented – high standards for others, criticize others, often disappointed they don’t live up to expectation

3. Socially prescribed – others have high standards for you

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Here are some possibilities of how it can play out:

What can perfectionism look like?

  • Idea of being perfect/without flaws
  • Impossibly high standards (for self and/or others). These standards are unrealistic and unattainable
  • Never being disagreeable
  • Proving ourselves over and over again
  • Being hard on ourselves
  • High criticism
  • Fear and anxiety
  • No risk-taking

Do any of those ring a bell for you? I know I struggle with some of the above, I’m a recovering perfectionist. I tend to resonate more with having high standards and being hard on myself.

Did you know perfectionism can affect more than one part of your life? For me, it’s changed. First it was physical appearance. Then it was academics. And lately it has been professional success.

What can perfectionism affect?

  • Professional success
  • Parenting
  • Physical appearance
  • Academic success
  • Athletic ability/fitness goals
  • Physical environment
  • Lifestyle

If you struggle with perfectionism, then you may be having fears of different parts of life. It’s ok to have more than one. My main one is fear of failure.

What fears might you have?
  • Failure
  • Success
  • Rejection
  • Embarrassment
  • Not being liked
  • Being alone
  • Trying new things

If any of this resonated with you, know that you’re not alone in this. You can learn to go easier on yourself and others. It may take time, but the changes are worth it.

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To discuss how therapy could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

You have already taken the first step in seeking help and I can’t wait to help you achieve your goals!

Want to read more? Here are a few of my related blog posts you may be interested in checking out!

“Perfectionism and Substance Use”

“The Underrated Comfort of Extremes”





Check out some of the items mentioned in the blog post above, along with a few extra goodies we think you’ll love!

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