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  • Julie Kuhn

5 Ideas to Help Reduce Perfectionism

Do you think that you are a perfectionist?

Most people have the need to get it right at times but not all are addicted to getting it right all of the time . There is actually a difference between perfectionism and striving for quality/excellence.

When I began looking at the symptoms of Perfectionism it prompted me to reflect on how much effort I put into my tasks and how some of the traits might be affecting me. By doing this I have gradually integrated strategies which have helped me to be more relaxed and less stressful about what needs to be done and how well it needs to be done!

Some signs that you might be a perfectionist are:-

1. Feeling that you always have to be strong and in control of your emotions and that you avoid talking about your personal insecurities and inadequacies

2. Setting unrealistic standards for yourself And finding it difficult to trust others to get the job done.

3. Having a fear of failure and you find yourself procrastinating

4. Being an all or nothing thinker/black and white thinker

5. Being defensive and unable to accept criticism

Perhaps you might have noticed that you have some of these feelings or that you have sometimes wondered if you are a perfectionist, well, if you have, perhaps this blog can help you figure it out.

So this thing called perfectionism can be pretty tiring and stressful and it can heighten anxiety as well as depression and it can also leave us with low self-esteem or self-worth.

Also, Did you know that, constantly striving for perfection can contribute to feeling…

Demotivated Demoralised Undervalued Not good enough Shame Guilt Anxious Angry Unsuccessful Unfulfilled Unaccepted

So, Where does it come from you might ask. Well that’s not always clear but it can stem from a fear of letting others down and wanting to gain their approval or it can come from a time where you felt judged harshly by someone that you know (which they probably did unknowingly). Or it could be from your Conditions of Worth - childhood stuff.

I suppose the next question is "what can help?" Well, here are a few ideas to get you started...

1. We are all human! I think that the first thing to remember is that you are just a human being trying to do the best that you can And for me that helped to alleviate a lot of pressure.

2. Give yourself Permission The next thing you might try is giving yourself permission not to have to be or create or do everything perfect. This sounds easier than it is so it’s worth remembering to be kind to yourself, be gentle and take small steps.

3. How Defensive are You? You can also start noticing how defensive you are and how you deal with criticism and practice dealing with it in a less reactive way. You might practice giving feedback to yourself or others and notice how you can learn from it. One method you can use is the “Sh.t Sandwich”. This is a method where you can firstly say what you like about the person/situation/presentation followed by considerate criticism and then Followed by something else which was done well. This makes the feedback useful and is often a good learning tool.

4. Cut out the inner critic Another thing you can do is to watch out for your inner critic! That critical voice can be a bully and it can create negative self talk impacting on your self-esteem and self-worth. Challenge those thoughts and try seeing them from another persons perspective.

5. Think positive Rather than being negative you can try and focus your awareness on your positives. Notice how things change when you do this. This was another one that actually really helped me to step back and feel good.

An extra one idea just for good measure Become aware of your unhelpful thinking patterns such as All or Nothing/Black and white thinking and perhaps start to look for the

in-between/shades of grey.

Et voila!

I hope that it has given you something which can help.

As always if something difficult comes up for you then you can Talk to a valued and trusted friend, journal what’s happening or work with a counsellor/therapist.

If you want to make an appointment for counselling with me, you can give me a call on 07478754839 or send a Message via phone or email with your query or simply “can I have an appointment please” and details of when you are available i.e. morning, afternoon or evening and I will get back to you with some proposed times as soon as I can.

Don’t struggle alone!

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