02. October 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Mental


How many people do you know that are perfectionists? Do these people lead happy and fulfilling lives?

The answer to that question is some do whereas others do not.

There are two sides to perfectionism – one side is positive while the other side taken to the extreme can be negative and can be very damaging to one’s personal development.

This article will focus on the more negative aspects of perfectionism.

In my life, I have encountered and/or read about many individuals who were  brought up to be perfectionists. Some were athletes, some were entertainers and some were everyday citizens. Some of their stories were inspirational and some were tragic; others were in the middle of the spectrum. 

Definition of Perfectionism

Perfectionism, in psychology, defined by Wikipedia ” is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding other’s evaluations. It is best conceptualized as a multidimensional characteristic, as psychologists agree that there are many positive and negative aspects.

Where Does Perfectionism Originate

In many cases, perfectionism is created by parents who have unduly high expectations for their children. In cases where the child does not meet their parent’s lofty expectations, the child will often develop a dreaded fear of making mistakes. This in turn can preclude a child from attaining his/her goals.

In other cases, the child may have a fear of separation anxiety because they believe that if they do not fulfill the parent’s expectations, the parent will no longer love them.

Types of Perfectionism

There are three kinds of perfectionism. They are as follows:

  1. The individual sets their own goals beyond realistic expectations.
  2. The individual is influenced by others whose expectations are unrealistic.
  3. The individual has unrealistic expectations for others.

Researchers have found that perfectionism has been linked to eating disorders, depression, migraines, anxiety and other ailments. In addition, perfectionism has been linked to low self-esteem and procrastination.

Perfectionism tend to inhibit taking risks and exposing ourselves to new experiences in life that may prove gratifying. Perfectionists do not have a good sense of their own identify and want to please others at the expense of their own happiness.

How to Overcome Perfectionism

The first step is to acknowledge that you are a perfectionist and it is having a negative impact on your life.

Once you acknowledge the problem, several approaches may be taken including:

  1. Change the “tape” in your mind by the use of positive affirmations.
  2. Set realistic goals, breaking them down into smaller ones that are more manageable.
  3. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Do not let your fear of mistakes paralyze you. No one is perfect.
  4. Seek professional help if necessary.


The negative aspects of perfectionism have been highlighted in this article.

Perfectionism can be very detrimental for our personal development.

At the root of perfectionism is the fear of failure and the desire to be loved.

To allow yourself to lead a more productive and fulfilling life, try utilizing some of the approaches mentioned above.




About the author: Bob

Bob is a businessman, athlete, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people progress personally through better self-awareness.

1 Comment

  1. Very nice article Bob! Interesting stuff!

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