Overcoming perfectionism can help you live a happier and more productive life. Perfectionsim is the greatest stopper there is…. It’s your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.” Perfectionists are highly self critical and are often not very productive because they are almost never satisfied with what they have done. Think of the student who never finishes the term paper because he is so unhappy with the first page, he keeps re-doing it over and over again!
This quote is not by a famous “psychologist” but the Oscar winning actor, Laurence Olivier.
Perfectionism is an illusion. Both achieving it and maintaining it even if you think you have it, just leads to anxiety, stress, depression and low self-worth. Perfectionists feel they are never good enough. It is like pouring water into a funnel. No matter how much you put in, it never stays full.
When you strive to do your best, you are focusing in on what you can control, appreciate your efforts and have goals you can work towards achieving. Your opportunities for improving and getting better increase and you feel good about your efforts and your progress towards your goals.
These are some of the ideas I explore with my clients in my Boca Raton office and through the many counseling clients I work with by phone and SKYPE.
As a cognitive therapist, I help people recognize and improve the way they think in order to feel and behave better. While understanding the past is useful in knowing how you learned to develop your thoughts and beliefs, changing them is often the key to both feeling and getting better and achieving success and excellence.
For articles, books and other “self-help” information visit, www.cognitivetherapy.cc