Are you  a perfectionist?  This is a question that I often ask my clients.  As a therapist it is not uncommon to have a client present with perfectionistic tendencies. In fact, perfectionism can be a strong factor in anxiety and depression. Having perfectionistic habits can also be maladaptive and become quite debilitating.

Here is a quick quiz taken from the book Escape Anxiety: 8 Steps to Freedom Through Meditative Therapies by Suzanne Jessee.

  1. Do you find yourself procrastinating because you get so worried about doing something perfectly that you have a hard time getting started?

  1. When you look at your work, are you able to notice how good it is and feel a sense of accomplishment, or do you only notice imperfections and worry about what more could have been done to improve it?

  1. When you look at others’ work, do you notice their imperfections rather than focusing on the high points?      

  1. When you look at your appearance, do you focus on all the things you’d like to change about yourself rather than noticing what you like about yourself? Or do you simply not think too much about it either way?  
  1. Do people tell you that you are hard to please and often negative?

  1. When people give you feedback and it’s 95 % positive, do you focus on the 5% that was just kind constructive criticism, or suggestions for improvement?

If you answered yes to at least 4 of these it’s possible that you just may have tendencies that lead toward perfectionism. If you feel that you are often in any of these situations, here a some of suggestions from Escape Anxiety:

  • Set realistic expectations
  • Focus on your successes, even partial ones
  • Stop zeroing in on your own or others’ faults and flaws
  • Realize that accomplishments alone to not determine self worth
  • Think about the process, not the results
  • Realize that anxiety and depression are signs that your goals are unrealistic
  • Welcome your mistakes as opportunities to learn

If you feel that you require further assistance, feel free to give us a call here at the Anxiety and Stress Center at 708-349-5433.

Ariane Allen, Psy .D
62 Orland Square Drive Suite 101

Orland Park ,IL