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  • Writer's pictureDayna Sharp, LCSW

Perfectionism

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

Ah, the illusion of being perfect. What a lovely, blissful place to be. There are no mistakes, there's nothing wrong, everything is magical, wonderful...perfect. It's the perfect anxiety-eliminator. What could one possibly feel anxiety about? Everything's perfect!


The longing for perfection is understandable. Nothing's uncomfortable when we're perfect, we're lovable--people want to be around us. We feel no self-doubt, because, well, we're perfect. It's like an adult version of a superhero--we're invincible. We have zero vulnerabilities.


But...back to reality...perfectionism is impossible. It's truly an illusion, a fantasy. There's no real way to be perfect, because we're human. We all have flaws, we all have vulnerabilities.



Perfectionism Isn't Perfect

While perfectionism can seem like a great place to hide our anxieties and fears, it can actually cause its own distress. The problem with the fantasy of being perfect is that it sets our expectations to an unreasonable bar, and then we have no other option than to fail. The mythical lure of perfectionism therefore destines us to harm.


Moreover, when we expect perfection from ourselves, we often extend those unrealistic expectations onto others. This back and forth dynamic of perfection to failure can wreak havoc on relationships, leaving both partners feeling unstable with the threat of harm lurking around any corner.



Breaking Free from Perfection

Of course, loosening the grasp of the perfectionism problem isn't as easy as following a few simple steps. If it was easy to let go of, it wouldn't be so alluring in the first place. It can feel emotionally risky to step out of the perfectionism fantasy. That's why working with a good therapist can help. At Creating Space Counseling and Wellness you will be encouraged to practice the following:


  • Recognize perfectionism as the fantasy that it is.

  • Identify the ways in which this fantasy appears in your own life.

  • Understand what purpose the fantasy serves.

  • See the anxieties and fears that might be underneath.

  • Learn and practice healthier ways of coping with those distressful feelings.


If You're Waiting for the Perfect Therapist...

If you're waiting for the perfect therapist...consider again the fantasy. Wouldn't it be lovely if there was some perfect person who could help you to be...well, more perfect? At Creating Space Counseling and Wellness, you will find someone more realistic--a good therapist: someone who relates to you with dignity, trust, care and is highly effective. Being in therapy--in a therapeutic relationship--can in of itself be an opportunity to recognize longings for perfection and to work through them.


Call Creating Space Counseling and Wellness today to see if we might be a good match! 856-281-1664





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