Perfectionism and Anxiety

Some traits are positive like creativity, emotional sensitivity and empathy but others aggravate anxiety.

  • Perfectionism- expectations about yourself and others might be unrealistically high. If you cannot reach them often times people become critical and disappointed with themselves. You may also be focused on small flaws or mistakes with yourself. Focusing on what is wrong tends to discount what is right or good.
  • Let go of the idea that your worth is determined by your achievement and accomplishment. Pets and plants have value just because they are alive, it is similar with you. Be willing to affirm that you are loveable and acceptable.
  • Recognize and overcome perfectionistic thinking by looking at how you talk to yourself. “Should/ must thinking”, “All or nothing thinking”. Overgeneralizing. Counter state these. “It is okay to make mistakes”, “I will do the best I can.”
  • Stop magnifying the importance of small errors. Are these mistakes important in a month or year from now. Usually, mistakes are forgotten in a short time.
  • Focus on Positives. Don’t discount the positives. Think of any small steps you have taken towards achieving your goals by looking at what was accomplished or insights you had.
  • Work on goals that are realistic. Would you expect the same goals of others? Are you expecting to much of yourself and the world? Acceptance of personal limitations is the ultimate act of self-love.
  • Cultivate more pleasure and recreation in your life. Are you taking your life to seriously and not allowing time for fun, play, rest? How can you make more time for leisure, and pleasure? Try to do one thing daily that you enjoy.
  • Develop a process orientation. Place value on the process rather then just achievement. “The journey is more important than the destination.” “Stop and smell the flowers.”

Referenced by: The Anxiety and Phobia workbook by Edmund Bourne

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