Getting Out of the Perfectionism Trap

Unless managed, the perfectionism trap can be self-destructive. It’s a trap that can derail creative projects, cause unnecessary stress and anxiety, and lead to a cycle of emotional distress. The key to breaking free of the perfectionist trap is understanding that pursuing ‘good enough’ is a positive goal in creative endeavours – not something to be ashamed of.

People with perfectionist tendencies have an especially hard time accepting compliments and enjoying their accomplishments. This is because they can’t separate their accomplishments from the internal pressure that they are under. They may also suffer from excessive procrastination – postponing tasks that they feel they can’t get right until the conditions are just so – which in turn makes them even more stressed and anxious.

Escaping Perfectionism: Breaking Free from the Perfectionism Trap

Many of the students we work with who are stuck in the perfectionism trap find that when they start to value their achievements more, it has a very positive impact on their motivation and their performance. They also begin to realise that there is a much more important thing than their work – it’s themselves.

Getting out of the perfectionism trap is about retraining your brain and creating new healthy habits. One way to do this is by becoming more mindful of your thoughts and how they influence your behaviour. Another is by adopting more positive self-talk – instead of criticising yourself when you make a mistake, refocus your attention on the positive things about yourself. And finally, by building a supportive community that can help you heal from the emotional wounds of perfectionism.


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