Does Perfectionism Poison You? Here Are 5 Telltale Symptoms

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Sometimes it’s subtle – sometimes it’s glaring. But on any and every level, perfectionism exerts a paralyzing influence.

Does perfectionism poison you?

If so, the first challenge is to recognize it. Only when you see it can you apply the antidote.

But here’s the problem; if you desperately want to be perfect, self-diagnosis can feel excruciatingly painful and difficult. Identifying your desire to please, and seeing how it debilitates you, is especially challenging since perfectionism is often highly rewarded in society.

So the best way to start this journey is with compassion. Self-acceptance mobilizes you and makes it unnecessary to seek validation from others. Then, by opening up to an understanding where your desire to be perfect started, you can begin to reduce its power.

Let’s start by briefly examining these origins. I invite you to open your mind and open your heart and remember that perfectionism is overcome with compassion and realism!

Where Does Perfectionism Come From?

Perfectionism usually has its roots in early childhood and is generally an attempt to control something that feels uncontrollable. Perhaps in response to criticism or punishment, you attempted to master your environment by providing what was demanded of you. This could set you on a perfectionistic course.

What Behaviors Signal Perfectionism?

When you relate as a perfectionist, you:

  1. Relate reactively rather than responsively. You waste hours trying to second-guess others’ needs and desires and not enough time defining what you genuinely need.
  2. Smile stiffly – like an exaggerated grin you might wear in front of a camera. This reflects stress, not confidence or happiness.
  3. Have increasing difficulty managing anger and disappointment because you have forfeited your autonomy. Punishing behavior often follows right on the heels of efforts to please and control.
  4. Find it difficult to balance your life, working incessantly and feeling that nothing is ever good enough.
  5. And in extreme instances, you may become completely paralyzed. The fear and pain of making mistakes drains your incentive to explore and extend yourself.

If you now feel clearer about the role of perfectionism in your life, be sure to validate yourself! You’ve taken a powerful step to recover from its effects on you, and ongoing work will help you continue to enhance your productivity and pleasure in life.

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, The Finding Time Success Kit, which includes “The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

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