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Why Perfectionism is Your Worst Trait

Sorry, we’re not sorry, there’s nothing admirable about labeling yourself a perfectionist.

In fact, it’s a red flag that there’s something much deeper going on that’s affecting you and influencing your decisions, and likely not for the better (or to your benefit). Perfectionism is bred from fear and unworthiness. This usually stems from a place of not feeling confident or adequate with the skillset you already possess to carry out and deliver a task.

Where does  perfectionism originate?

Like all thought patterns and character traits, perfectionism has deep roots. This particular thought pattern can stem back as early as childhood. Let’s say you had parents or a caretaker who had good intentions and always wanted the best for you, so they pushed you hard. This could lead to unrealistic expectations and give one the thought early on that they are never doing enough, or good enough.

Got an A on that exam? Why wasn’t it an A+? If you grew up in a household with this type of pressure, it’s more likely you will continue to hold yourself to that impossible standard well into adulthood.

Social media is a new and powerful contender in the world of perfectionism. With apps like Instagram constantly showing unrealistic curations of the best, happiest, posed and often planned out photographed moments of our lives, we can think anyone and everyone else is doing well, and we aren’t. Perfectionism can stem from a lot of areas with varying degrees of toxicity.

There are three main types of perfectionism:

  • Self-Oriented: when you are holding yourself to impossible, perfect standards.
  • Other-Oriented: when others are holding you to impossible, perfect standards.
  • Socially-Prescribed: when you perceive unrealistic expectations from others.

You might feel that if you’re not perfect, people will notice and judge you. You’re afraid to be seen as “bad” or flawed, so you hold back your genuine opinion about things. So, as a result, you avoid certain situations or taking risks because you don’t want to make a mistake.

The negative side of perfectionism

Perfectionism is not your friend, girl, and here are just a few reasons why you need to recognize the toxicity of your relationship with it:


  • Stress – constantly striving to be the best is a losing game, and a stressful and exhausting one at that because you never allow yourself a break.
  • Discontent – leading a life where you hold yourself to ridiculous standards will more than likely have you feeling unhappy, unworthy, and lacking confidence.
  • Paralyzing – often those with perfectionism hold themselves back from taking risks because they talk themselves out of it by saying they’re not ready, or not good enough to even try.
  • People Pleasing – perfectionists have a tendency to want to make everyone happy, which is impossible and often backfires to making more people unhappy including yourself.
  • Critical – if you are holding yourself to perfectionist standards, chances are you’re holding those closest to you to really high standards as well. This can have people feeling pressured by you, instead of encouraged and supported or accepted.
  • No Rest – people with perfectionist traits tend to not know when to take a break. It’s hard to finish a job when you feel like there’s always something more you could do to make it better.
  • Own Worst Enemy – while you may tell yourself that your perfectionism will help you do a better job or be more creative, the opposite couldn’t be more true. When you feel like things need to be perfect, you often stop yourself before you even begin, and in extreme cases, some people won’t being or complete something they desire their whole lives for fear of it not being “perfect” enough.

How to overcome perfectionism

If you found yourself relating to a lot of this article, you may be pretty deep into a perfectionist mindset. All hope is not lost, there are ways for you to re-align your thought patterns and carry out your actions without needing them to be perfect.

  • Create realistic goals that you can achieve, even if it means going slower than you’re used to.
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself, which includes accepting that sometimes you will fall short or fail.
  • Take breaks and utilize them to your benefit, taking time off can often help us refresh and realign our focus and does not mean that we don’t care or are lazy.
  • Learn to say no when things do not serve you, your goals, or your higher purpose. Being intentional and careful about where and how you spend your energy is imperative to leading a happy life.
  • Carve out time for self-care. If you are not taking care of yourself, you can’t expect to take care of anything, or anyone, else.

If you struggle with anxious, self-critical, racing thoughts and consider yourself an overthinker then don’t worry..I’ve got you…Check out The Overthinking Toolkit.

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Is Your Overthinking Sabotaging Your Success?

Take this quick quiz to find out whether your overthinking habit is holding you back from getting the success you know you deserve.


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Take this quick quiz to find out whether your overthinking habit is holding you back from getting the success (you know) you deserve.