Perfectionists look for faults in everything, and nothing is ever quite good enough. Perfection is an illusion that is always just out of reach. High achieving individuals try to overcome their internalized shame and guilt, which stems from a belief they are somehow flawed, and strive to prove their worth throught accomplishments.

Perfectionists try especially hard to earn the love of someone and prove they are good enough, in order to validate their own low self-esteem. They go through life always followed by their flawed reflection. Instead of fixing their feelings about themselves they fix the imperfect objects around them.

Driven by Shame

The student who obsesses over receiving an A- on a test or they they missed answering an oral question is a perfectionist who is driven by shame.

The combination of shame, guilt, low self-esteem and fear, coupled with perfectionism, is pariticularly self-defeating when trying to find a loving relationship. Perfectionists believe at their core that they are inadequate in some way. Not smart enough, not tall enough, not attractive enough, not strong enough. The list is long. Perfectionism is an escape from these painful beliefs. They fear being judged for not meeting their own expectations of perfection. The fact that there is no such thing as perfection is meaningless, and never even considered.

The Antidote

The antidote for perfectionism is acceptance, which is the key to living mindfully. Remember, acceptance doesnt mean you have to like something. Only that you acknowledge its existence. You can change some things, not others. Until you accept yourself it will be difficult fo change anything because you are in conflict with yourself.

Lighten up on yourself. Feeding your fears can and does lead to anxiety and depression. Learn to practice living mindfully. Stay focused on the present when you catch your thoughts drifting into the past or future.

All humans are imperfect and you are no exception. Humans make mistakes. You make mistakes. Even Michelangelo made mistakes. Your fear is that you are a mistake, but being human is not a mistake at all. Stop being a perfectionist. Practice self-forgiveness and acceptance of who you are and live mindfully.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you to improving your life.
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