What is Perfectionism?
If you struggle with perfectionism, you may notice that you set extremely high and rigid standards for yourself – standards that you would never set for people you care about. Often, we might think of perfectionism as helpful, as it can motivate us to strive and accomplish our goals.
However, there is a dark side to perfectionism. If you find yourself caught up in unhelpful perfectionism, you may notice you avoid a lot of situations where you might fail, make a mistake, or be mediocre. Maybe you notice that this avoidance is moving you away from what matters to you.
If you are stuck in unhelpful perfectionism you may also notice that your mind is very hard on you, and constantly compares you to others.
How Can Therapy Help with My Perfectionism?
In therapy, we would explore how exactly perfectionism is getting in the way of what matters to you. Our aim would be to help you do more of what you want to be doing in life. We would also practice self-compassion skills to better handle feelings of failure and those self-critical thoughts that show up.
Change after all is an imperfect process, our aim of therapy would be to get better at being imperfect. I use the evidence-based approach of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) in my practice.
We are all living a life of gentle returnsDr. Kelly Wilson
co-founder of ACT