1. Perfectionism is propelled by harsh or negative self-talk.
So while you may be achieving more, your internal dialogue continues to vacillate somewhere between coarse and downright abusive. It’s a vicious cycle, one that rewards harmful words with external achievement. This is neither healthy nor fulfilling.
2. It also tricks you into misidentifying your most critical thoughts as facts.
If you look hard enough, you will find ways to convince yourself of anything. The same rings true with perfectionism. Given that our minds naturally veer in a direction that is negative, it is all too easy to find reasons to believe you’re less than, especially if you’re looking for them.
3. It is driven by fear and therefore pressures you to live your life within that paradigm.
When you exist in a perpetual state of fear, you’re forced to operate out of scarcity. Nothing can ever be good or perfect enough, and yet, you are still terrified of facing that possibility head on. The alternative of constant success is too frightening to consider. So, you fight for the unachievable.
4. Because of this fear, you fixate, always obsessing over what is wrong or what could be better.
And this isn’t to say that you aren’t thankful for your life. In fact, most of the time perfectionism plays an integral role in your deep expression of gratitude toward those you love and admire. However, the constant attention you give to things externally causes you to regularly forget how they feel on the inside. As a result, your sense of comfort often takes a backseat.
5. When something does go wrong (or even differently than you may have imagined) you tailspin into a spiral of shame and self-doubt.
The problem, in reality, isn’t that something did not pan out the way you planned, but rather the way you see yourself when that happens. Perfectionism forces you to catastrophize life’s inevitable tribulations in a way that eats at your sense of worth, as well as your ability to find compassion for yourself. Similar to looking out of a cloudy window or into a foggy mirror, it distorts the way you see things until the original image is completely unrecognizable.
6. It coerces you into believing your worth is directly correlated to how good you are at A or how many awards you won for B.
So, you compare yourself to everyone around you. If you aren’t the smartest/prettiest/fastest etc. then you are unworthy of love and acceptance.
7. Its power is rooted in insecurity.
Forcing you to continue to fight a losing battle that thrives on your deepest discomfort.