Perfectionism can be defined as a need to be or to appear perfect, characterized by a concern with constantly striving for perfection. Many individuals who struggle with perfectionism hold themselves to impossibly high standards, often make critical self-evaluations and have concerns regarding judgement from others.
Common signs of perfectionism include:
Feeling like a failure
Procrastinating regularly — anxiety about not completing a task perfectly can lead to resistance
Struggling to relax and/or share thoughts and feelings
Becoming controlling in personal and professional relationships
Becoming obsessed with rules, lists, and work, or alternately, become extremely apathetic
Focusing on the final result rather than the process of doing something
Not seeing a task as finished until the result is "perfect", often meaning tasks take excessively long to complete.
Perfectionism is linked to self-esteem, meaning that perfectionist individuals tend to measure their self-worth based on their productivity and accomplishments. This creates the feeling of needing to continually perform and achieve all the time, even when it may compromise other aspects of life.
Perfectionism can cause unhappiness and reduce life satisfaction as it can interfere with personal relationships, education, or work. It can lead individuals to eventually stop trying to succeed, and is linked to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, and self-harm.
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