How Might Perfectionism Lead to Anxiety

How Might Perfectionism Lead to Anxiety

It's no secret that perfectionism can lead to anxiety.

After all, if you're always trying to achieve the impossible, it's inevitable that you'll end up feeling anxious and stressed out.

But what might not be so obvious is how exactly perfectionism contributes to anxiety.

In this post, we'll explore some of the specific ways that striving for flawlessness can cause problems in your life.

We'll also suggest some strategies for overcoming perfectionism-related anxiety

So if you're struggling with this issue, read on! You may find some helpful tips here. 

Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Shannon Hamm, LPC

Shannon Hamm, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Julia Rosales, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jacquelynne Sils, LPCC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jennifer Wilson, LPCC, NCC

Jennifer Wilson, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(720) 437-9089
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Michele Ames-Hodges, PsyD, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Melissa Johnston, LPC

Melissa Johnston, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Julie Maloney, LPCC

Julie Maloney, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Mallory Heise, LPC, LAC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342

What is Perfectionism and What are the Effects of Perfectionism on Anxiety

Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by high standards and a need for control.

People who are perfectionists often strive for perfection in all areas of their lives and can be extremely critical of themselves and others.

Perfectionism can lead to anxiety, as people worry that they will never be able to meet their high standards.

It can also cause relationship difficulties, as perfectionists may have difficulty accepting help from others.

This is because they may feel that they should be able to do everything themselves and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. 

Understanding what it is can help one learn how perfectionism can lead to anxiety. 

How Can Perfectionism Lead to Anxiety?

Perfectionism is often thought of as a positive quality, indicative of a high level of ambition and a strong work ethic. 

However, perfectionism can also have negative consequences, leading to anxiety and stress.

One of the ways that perfectionism can lead to anxiety is by setting unrealistic standards. 

When we strive for unrealistic goals, we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration.

We may also find it hard to enjoy our achievements because we are always focused on what we could have done better.

Additionally, perfectionism can lead to procrastination.

We may be so afraid of making mistakes that we put off starting anything at all. 

This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

Finally, perfectionism can lead to social isolation. 

We may be afraid to reach out to others or share our work with the world, for fear of judgment.

If you are struggling with perfectionism, it is important to seek help from a therapist or counselor.

They can help you learn how to set realistic goals and manage your anxiety.

You don't have to strive for perfection to be happy and successful; learning to accept yourself just as you are is an important step on the road to recovery.

The Signs and Symptoms of Perfectionism-Related Anxiety 

Perfectionism is a dangerous trap to fall into.

It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical health problems.

But how do you know if you're a perfectionist? 

Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Do you often feel overwhelmed by your to-do list?
  • Do you procrastinate because you're afraid of making mistakes?
  • Do you have difficulty completing tasks because you're never satisfied with the results?
  • Do you beat yourself up over your mistakes?
  • Do you compare yourself to others and always come up short?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, perfectionism may be playing a role in your life.

The first step to getting over perfectionism is acknowledging that it's a problem. 

Once you do that, you can start taking steps to change your thinking and improve your mental health.

How to Overcome Perfectionism-Related Anxiety

When you're constantly striving for perfection, it's easy to become your own worst critic. 

If you're constantly worried about making mistakes or not living up to your high standards, you may be struggling with perfectionism-related anxiety.

While it's important to have high standards, it's also important to learn how to let go of unrealistic expectations.

Otherwise, you'll always be feeling anxious and stressed out. Here are some tips for overcoming perfectionism-related anxiety:

  1. Learn to accept yourself as you are. Everyone makes mistakes and has flaws. Accepting yourself for who you are is an important step in overcoming perfectionism-related anxiety.
  2. Set realistic goals. When you set unrealistic goals, you'll inevitably feel disappointed and anxious when you don't meet them. Setting realistic goals will help you avoid this feeling of disappointment.
  3. Take things one step at a time. Trying to do too many things at once will only increase your anxiety levels. Focus on taking things one step at a time and enjoying the process instead of rushing through it.
  4. Don't compare yourself to others. Comparing yourself to others is a surefire way to increase your anxiety levels. Everyone is on their journey and you should focus on your progress, not someone else's.


These are just a few things to consider when you're learning how to overcome perfectionism-liked anxiety. 

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you're struggling to overcome perfectionism-related anxiety on your own, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

They can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and learn how to set realistic goals. 

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Licensed professionals can give you the tools you need to overcome your perfectionism and live a happier, healthier life.

Understand the Link Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

Perfectionism and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Individuals who are perfectionists tend to be more anxious, and vice versa.

Why is this?

Understanding the link between these two psychological states can help you to better understand why you get anxious and how you can healthily manage your anxiety.

Perfectionism is often rooted in a fear of failure.

Individuals who are perfectionists tend to set very high standards for themselves, and they often beat themselves up when they don't meet these standards.

This can lead to a lot of anxiety. Anxious individuals are also more likely to be perfectionists.

This is because anxiety can lead to a negative feedback loop in which individuals become fixated on avoiding mistakes, which only leads to more anxiety and more mistakes.

If you're struggling with perfectionism, it's important to understand the link between perfectionism and anxiety.

Once you understand this link, you can start to work on healthily managing your perfectionism.

One way to do this is to set realistic standards for yourself and to practice self-compassion when you make mistakes.

Remember that everyone makes mistakes -- it's part of being human! -- and that imperfections can make you more relatable and interesting. 

Disclaimer

The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. 

Please reach out to a licensed professional who can guide you, diagnose, and provide treatment plans if needed.

Conclusion

Perfectionism is often linked to anxiety. There are things you can do to help manage this issue.

Consider the above tips and ideas if you are on a journey with perfectionism induced anxiety.

If you're struggling with perfectionism-related anxiety, try to set realistic goals for yourself and practice self-compassion. 

Seek professional help if needed.

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February 21st, 2024

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