Perfectionism is a complex mindset and behaviour that can be influenced by various factors, which is why we spoke to psychotherapist and The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control author Katherine Morgan Schafler. Here are a few reasons why people tend to hold on to perfectionism despite its flaws:
- Fear of Failure. Perfectionists often have a deep-rooted fear of failure.
- High Standards and Achievement Orientation. Perfectionists tend to set extremely high standards for themselves.
- Validation and Self-Worth. Perfectionism can be linked to seeking validation and deriving self-worth from external achievements.
- Control and Avoidance of Uncertainty. Perfectionists may use their pursuit of perfection as a way to gain a sense of control over their lives.
- Cultural and Social Influences. Societal and cultural factors can also contribute to the perpetuation of perfectionistic tendencies.
- Emotional and Cognitive Patterns. Perfectionists may experience cognitive distortions such as all-or-nothing thinking, excessively self-critical thoughts, or a constant focus on flaws or mistakes.
It’s important to note that while perfectionism may be driven by positive intentions, it can have negative consequences on mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Challenging and addressing perfectionistic tendencies often involves developing self-compassion, embracing mistakes as learning opportunities, setting realistic goals, and seeking support from others.
Understanding the underlying reasons why we hold on to perfectionism can help us cultivate a healthier mindset and adopt more balanced approaches to our personal and professional pursuits.
So what is perfectionism?
Thanks to the following author for participating:
Katherine Morgan Schafler is a psychotherapist, writer and speaker, and former on-site therapist at Google. She earned degrees and trained at UC Berkeley and Columbia University, with post-graduate certification from the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy in NYC. The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power is her first book.
Other wonderful guests who took part:
Author of The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect, as well as The Rosie Result Graeme Simsion.
Producer and host of Brodcast, and owner of social media market company Tenkai Klara Tuličić.
Lisa Grotts is an author, certified etiquette expert, and Huffington Post blogger. She is also a former Director of Protocol for the City and County of San Francisco.
Michelle Foulia is the author of Poppy’s Miracle, coach, and speaker.
Here are some of the resources from the show:
We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialise young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. “I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”
Books looked at this week:
Katherine Morgan Schafler: The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control
Reshma Saujani: Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More and Live Bolder
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