Signs You May Be Struggling With Perfectionism

By Marissa Sparkman

Brene Brown once said that, “perfectionism is the belief that, if we look perfect and live and act perfectly, then we’ll be able to shield ourselves from criticism, judgement, or blame.” I thought of this quote recently as I discussed a new Tiktok trend with a friend. As various women show their morning and evening routines to their audience, the goal is to become “that girl.” That girl always has a healthy breakfast. She exercises every single day, and she never misses a step in her skincare routine. Her apartment is always clean, she always looks put together, and she has an extremely active social life. Doesn’t it seem like “that girl” is perfect?

Unfortunately, perfectionism is a myth. There are going to be days when you’re too tired to cook, you don’t feel like cleaning, and you’d rather lay on the couch than go out on a Friday night. Yet there is pressure to live up to these standards that can leave us feeling defeated, depressed, and/or incredibly anxious. Luckily, though, there are ways of combating perfectionism if the following signs resonate with you.

Signs You May Be Struggling with Perfectionism

1. You find yourself procrastinating on tasks that make you feel anxious.

2. You constantly assess things you’ve said in conversations and ruminate on past mistakes.

3. You avoid doing anything that you could potentially fail at.

4. You become defensive when you’re given feedback on your performance at work.

5. You find yourself feeling devastated when you don’t meet each goal you set.

How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Can Help

A therapist trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can assist you in exploring and reframing unhelpful thinking patterns that lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression in those who struggle with perfectionism. Your therapist can also help you to understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which can lead to symptom reduction and a more positive self-image and quality of life. By creating realistic goals and a plan for achieving those goals with your therapist, you gain the power to live your life on your own terms and reframe the way you speak to yourself when faced with challenges. If this sounds like you, don’t forget that we’re here to help!