Have you ever obsessed over the desire to avoid failure or judgment from others? You could be a perfectionist.  You may have a fear of failure, be highly critical of yourself, and may have unrealistic standards that are difficult to reach. Perfectionists sometimes challenge themselves with being perfect or the best instead of their personal best.  Some studies show that perfectionists actually tend to achieve less and stress more than regular high achievers.  While striving to do one's best can be very healthy, seeking perfection may lead to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

  • Setting standards that can never be attained
  • Being unsatisfied with anything other than perfection
  • Becoming depressed when faced with failure or disappointment
  • Being preoccupied with fears of failure and disapproval
  • Being intolerant of mistakes and seeing oneself as unworthy
  • Being unable to take respectful criticism
Healthy Striving
  • Setting standards that are high but within reach
  • Enjoying process as well as outcome
  • Bouncing back from mistakes or failure
  • Accepting anxiety as something to be expected at times
  • Viewing mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning
  • Reacting positively to helpful criticism

 It is common for perfectionists to become paralyzed by their unrealistic expectations, and they begin putting off tasks so that they don't have to face their fears of imperfection. If this sounds familiar, please see these tips for avoiding procrastination.

tips for avoiding procrastination
  • Break your work into small steps
  • Give yourself deadlines
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes
  • Be accountable to someone about your goals
  • Minimize your distractions and time wasters
  • Just get started 

If you need help with perfectionism or procrastination, contact the Health and Wellness Center for information about counseling 479-968-0329.