Anxiously Striving for Perfection…

Anxiously Striving for Perfection

​I have known for several weeks that I needed to write a blog for our website, yet I continued to put it off.  I thought about the blog, made notes about ideas, and even did some research, but could not bring myself to actually finish an idea and turn it in.  As I continued to near the deadline, my anxiety and stress grew.  When the deadline came, I was forced to take a deep look at what was keeping me from writing this blog.  When I stopped to think about how I felt about writing the blog instead of focusing on the many possible topics and ways to approach it, I began to unravel the motivation behind my procrastination.  I was worried that it would not be good enough, that there would be mistakes, and that I would not get the perfect balance between interest, conversational style writing, and useful information.  I was worried that my colleagues would not like the topic I chose and that after years of technical writing, my style would be dry and boring.  I soon realized I was viewing this situation as a perfectionist and was apprehensive about trying to create the perfect piece of writing.

​Perfectionism, striving for perfection…It is an unachievable goal, but many would say, “What is wrong with striving for perfection? Does that not create better work ethics and higherachievements?”  Upon a first glance, it would look like some forms of perfectionism would be useful and adaptive.  To obtain high levels of performance in academics, athletics, and/or any other of life’s goals, some effort and planning must be put forth.  The issue arises when this desire to achieve and fear of failure start to affect your mental state, your ability to acknowledge and enjoy your success, your relationships.  Research has shown that even when perfectionism has pushed a person to high achievements, they often still feel inadequate and often have suffered much anxiety and depression along the way.  Those striving for perfection often fear failure and suffer from stress and worry, making it difficult to make decisions and move forward. Sometimes people become so immobilized by the fear of making the “wrong” decision that they avoid making all decisions, losing their opportunity to voice their opinions and show their preferences.  Perfectionism can also affect self-esteem and furthermore, if the idea of perfection is expected from other people, it can lead to difficulties obtaining and maintaining relationships.  If you feel that your achievements are never good enough, that a failure means that you are not a worthy person, that your friends and family cannot live up to your expectations, or even that you cannot live up to your expectations, a trained therapist can help.  If the fear of failure and the continuing struggle to obtain perfection keeps you up at night with worry and anxiety and/or if you find little pleasure in the successes that you have achieved, it may be time to seek help.

If you struggle with procrastination and/or perfectionism, Healing Your Hidden Hurts knows how to help guide you towards morforms of motivation. Call and talk with Michelle Barnett today 8883491116 *4 *2.

Benson, Etienne. (2003). The many faces of perfectionism. American Psychological AssociationMonitor, 34(10), 18-20.

Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (2006). Positive versus negative perfectionism in psychopathology.Behavior Modification, 30(4), 472-495. doi:10.1177/0145445506288026


About healinghiddenhurts

Healing Hidden Hurts, founded by Camishe Nunley, is an agency dedicated to the quality of treatment for trauma survivors for adolescents and adult trauma survivors. HHH is located in Carmel with satellite offices in Noblesville, Fishers, Greenwood and Plainfield, In. We specialize in individual, group, family and marital therapy.
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