March 10 2018 TalktoAngel 0 comments 3110 Views

Perfectionism is the continuous striving to meet highly demanding standards whichare self-imposed and is consistently followed despite the fact that it is causing problems to you.

3 Most Important Parts of Perfectionism would be:

  • High demanding standards and tendency to criticize oneself.
  • Presence of a striving to meet such demanding standards even with its negative effects.
  • Evaluating oneself majorly on these standards.

Unhelpful Perfectionism differentiates from ‘A Healthy Pursuit Of Excellence’

Real understanding of what perfectionism is, also calls for an understanding of what it is not. For this we need to keep in mind a very important difference between what is called ‘Perfectionism’ and the ‘Striving for success or healthy pursuit of excellence’. ‘Healthy pursuit of excellence’ involves setting personally demanding goals with efforts to achieve them in a positive way, connected to a sense of personal satisfaction with only few negative consequences. On the contrary, In ‘unhelpful perfectionism’ the person’s view of himself/herself is almost entirely dependent on how well the person has achieved one’s own demanding standards and continues to follow these standards inspite of considerable negative consequences.

The Negative Effects would be:

– Not being able to remain open to new experiences
– Many a times results in delays
– Leads to stifling ambitions
– Contributes in increase of stress and anxiety
– Lowers down your productivity due to huge amount of personal resources required
– Unmet goals lowering belief in yourself and sense of self-worth.
– High chances for self-blame
– High chances for mental and physical exhaustion or a burnout
– Your eating pattern starts getting negatively affected

Why It Persists

If your self-worth is highly dependent on achievement, it creates ‘inflexible standards’ for you, often supported with your mental biases. This further leads to either of the three possible outcomes- ‘You temporarily meet the standard’ or ‘you fail to meet the standard’ or ‘you avoid trying and putting your efforts’. In case you have met the standard temporarily, it results in your feeling of that standard as ‘inefficiently demanding’ and if you fail or avoid even trying then you tend to show self- damaging behavior and criticize yourself. Both outcomes again leads to and maintains the extreme dependence of your self-worth on achievement alone .

This negative cycle is the real cause of persistence of unhelpful perfectionism in individuals.

If you relate someone you are close to or yourself with this, then know that this negative cycle needs to be broken so that personally meaningful but realistic goals are achieved with more benefits and less personal costs.


Remember – Self-Compassion is what is required when you evaluate yourself !


By- Gunjan Sharma
(Clinical Psychologist)
(Team -Talk To Angel)


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