Perfectionism: A Blessing and a Curse

Perfectionism is often seen as a positive personality trait. After all, perfectionists are usually very successful in life - they are highly organized, detail-oriented, and strive for excellence in everything they do. However, there is also a dark side to perfectionism. For some people, perfectionism can be a source of significant anxiety, stress, and even depression. In this blog post, we will explore the good and bad aspects of perfectionism, and we will discuss how you can deal with the negative effects of perfectionism if it is causing you distress.

On the plus side, perfectionists tend to be high achievers. They set high standards for themselves and they are usually very disciplined in their pursuit of goals. This can lead to success in many areas of life, including academics, careers, and personal relationships. Perfectionists are also usually very detail-oriented, which can be a valuable asset in fields such as medicine, law, and engineering.

However, perfectionism can also have some downside. For example, perfectionists often have difficulty completing tasks because they are never satisfied with their work. They may spend hours or even days perfecting a project that could have been finished much sooner if they had just let it go. This can lead to significant anxiety and stress. Additionally, perfectionists often have difficulty enjoying life because they are always striving for an unattainable ideal. If you find that perfectionism is causing you distress, there are some things you can do to cope.

First, try to be more accepting of your imperfections. Everyone makes mistakes; it is part of being human. Second, set realistic goals for yourself and strive for PROGRESS, not perfection. Lastly, give yourself permission to relax and enjoy life occasionally. You don't have to be perfect all the time! If you can learn to let go of perfectionism, you will likely find that your anxiety and stress levels decrease significantly. 

Perfectionism sometimes has a negative connotation because it is associated with high achievers who are also highly stressed individuals who often forego enjoyment in their pursuit of perfection. However, there are some upsides to perfectionism as well – such as the high standards they set for themselves which usually leads to success. Perfectionism usually has some negative consequences such as anxiety and stress. If perfectionism is causing you distress, try to be more accepting of your imperfections, set realistic goals for yourself, and give yourself permission to relax and enjoy life every once in awhile. 

For more helpful resources on perfectionism check out the link here from Harvard Business Review, a trusted resource: More Info.

- Aaron Schwartz
Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern
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