Plagued by perfectionism

Nothing has plagued me more than setting up my own business.  I wanted to make a success of a business that was truly important to me.  I wanted so badly to succeed and to offer a fantastic service that I put myself under incredible pressure.  During this time I lost a sense of me, my social life was nonexistent, I was stressed, working long hours, irritable and I was making mistakes.  The experience of this pressure has stayed with me, it's a reminder of how easily things can slip and it's something I find useful to reflect upon.

 The whole experience had me thinking: as humans we make mistakes, that's part of life but how much do we accept that?  When are high standards too high?  Do you have high standards?  Do you find yourself constantly striving for better?  Has anyone ever suggested that you are a perfectionist?  BUT, that's a good thing isn't it?  Isn't it good to have a goal and push for it?  Isn't this what gets you excellent results? 

At what cost?

For some these standards get in the way of happiness, sometimes these high standards can actually push us to the point where our performance is impaired.  We can become so angry and self critical because of one mistake or slip up.  Sound familiar?  There is a big difference between the healthy pursuit of excellence and the unhelpful striving for constant perfection.  Constantly striving for these unrelenting standards can result in:

·       Feeling tense, on edge or stressed out.  Often our best efforts aren't good enough so that the excessive drive to excel is self defeating as it leaves little chance to reach our goals and little chance to feel good about ourselves.

·       Judging ourselves based on our ability to achieve, it's like putting all of our eggs in one basket.  This makes us particularly vulnerable as not reaching our goals results in us feeling like a failure.  As humans beings we make mistakes, that's a normal, healthy part of life but being a perfectionist leaves no room for this.

·       Pursuing perfection can leave little time for anything else, it can have a huge impact on our well being.  It can lead to social isolation, depression, stress, worry, frustration, relationship difficulties, repeated checking of work, insomnia, poor health and much more.

If you have identified with any of the above and would like to make changes, either give us a call to book an appointment or alternatively email Capital CBT and I can send on some useful suggestions for self help guides/ books.

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