I should be better than I am.
Other people my age seem to have it more together.
I screwed that up and should have done better!
What will they think?
A healthy striving for excellence can help you succeed, stay motivated and do great things in life! High standards can push you to reach your peak level of performance.
Perfectionism, on the other hand, can mean setting standards so high, they either can’t be met or are only met with great difficulty. You may tend to believe you shouldn’t make mistakes or if you do, it means you’re a failure for disappointing yourself or others.
You might struggle with procrastination, take a long time to complete a task or spend a lot of time over-preparing, seeking reassurance or comparing yourself to others.
Perfectionism or overachieving can leave you stressed, feeling inferior and exhausted. It can hijack both your happiness and productivity. You can end up feeling frustrated, depressed, anxious or even angry while trying to meet your standards.
Underneath the drive, there is often an unconscious self-defeating belief that if you’re flawed, make mistakes or are not perfect, you can’t be happy or loved by others. You may get so used to this unconscious belief that you no longer even recognize it. Instead, it’s the perfect fuel to keep you working and honing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can work wonders for transforming perfectionistic thinking!
By looking at your negative thoughts (“I should have known better”, “I’m not good enough”, or “There’s something wrong with me for not being able to handle this”, etc. ) and identifying the cognitive distortions at play while creating positive, believable thoughts in their place, freedom and relief are possible.
It’s great to strive for excellence but when this striving turns into a demand for perfection at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, it can be hard to manage without some guidance.
Excessive self-criticism is exhausting.
When we measure our worthiness based on our achievements, it’s hard to ever feel like we are smart enough, accomplished enough, attractive enough, popular enough…
CBT can help learn and practice methods to transform the way you talk to yourself and open up new possibilities for enjoying your life.