03 Feb, 24

The Influence of Perfectionism on Your Life: A Deep Dive


Perfectionism may sound cool, but it is actually sucking all the fun out of your life. If people have often called you a perfectionist, it is high time you put your life under a microscope and evaluate what that means. It's time you start living a more peaceful and less stressful life, so let us try to figure out how to let go of this perfectionism together.

What Exactly Is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is a complex personality trait that includes a strong desire for perfection and an unwavering commitment to exceedingly high standards, often followed by harsh observations of oneself. From a psychological point of view, perfectionism is seen as a complicated and multidimensional term that includes many factors that affect a person's tendency to be perfect.

Perfectionism includes "self-oriented perfectionism," where people set high expectations for themselves and strive for excellence in all aspects of life. Internalized pressure to be flawless can lead to long-term dissatisfaction and self-criticism, making people constantly judge themselves. People in this dimension dread failure because they regard deviations from standards as weaknesses.

"Other-oriented perfectionism" is holding others to high standards and expecting perfection from them. When others don't achieve their high expectations, this dimension person may feel disappointed and let down, straining relationships.

What Are The Root Causes Of Perfectionism?

To get to the bottom of perfectionism, we need to look at the genetic, environmental, and psychological factors that affect how this complicated personality trait develops and shows up in people. Perfectionism is difficult because these traits interact in various ways, according to research.

  • Researchers found that perfectionism is partly genetic, making certain people more likely to have it. Temperament, thinking, and mental qualities vary. Genetics can influence perfectionistic tendencies. Genetic indicators associated with perfectionism may cooperate with extrinsic circumstances to develop a person's predisposition to perform perfectly.
  • Environmental variables, especially throughout development, contribute to perfectionism. Early influences, including parents, society, and culture, are crucial. Children raised in households that emphasize accomplishment, acceptability, and conditional affection may think they are only important if they fulfill high criteria. Perfectionist parents or overly critical parents might instill perfectionism in their children.
  • Psychological elements, including thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, also induce perfectionism. Cognitive faults like all-or-nothing thinking and overgeneralization might strengthen the drive for perfection by defining success in black-and-white terms that don't allow for imperfections. Extreme conscientiousness may lead to high goals.
  • Social and cultural factors increase perfectionism. Society's conceptions of success, beauty, and accomplishment may make people believe they must meet unrealistic expectations. Because social media makes it easier to compare others' achievements, we feel inadequate and want to be flawless.

Are You A Perfectionist?

If you ever felt that you are a perfectionist or have had instances where people told you that you were one, here is a list of symptoms to make sure:

  • Perfectionists established lofty objectives they knew they couldn't achieve, putting them under continual strain.
  • Anxiety and avoidance stem from their fear of mistakes and new obstacles.
  • Perfectionists may avoid work out of fear of failing. Stress and procrastination reduce productivity.
  • Perfectionists criticize themselves and feel horrible about their mistakes.
  • The fear that others' work won't be good makes it hard for them to delegate. This can cause tension and fatigue.
  • Perfectionists often lose sight of the broader picture due to detail-orientedness. The work may take longer due to this attention.
  • Perfectionists sometimes look for outside praise for their work to boost their self-esteem.
  • They think that results are either perfect or complete failures. Thinking in black-and-white terms can be very hard on the mind.
  • Perfectionism makes people feel more stressed, worried, and inadequate. It can lead to burnout because it's terrible for your mental and physical health.
  • If your plans change, it can be stressful and make you feel like you've lost something.
  • Perfectionists may avoid social situations because they are afraid of being judged or not meeting social standards. This can hurt their relationships and health.

The Impact Of Perfectionism On Your Life

Even though perfectionism has the word ‘perfect’ in it, the issue is not as good as it sounds. There are surface-level and deeper problems caused by perfectionism, which takes away people's ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

Fear of failure

Perfectionism comes from fear of failure. Scientists found that perfectionists' high standards awaken the body's stress response systems, creating dread. Feeling like you have to be perfect may make you afraid of making mistakes or not meeting standards. Failure fear enhances danger perception, heart rate, and cortisol. Dread may make people perfectionistic, hindering personal and professional progress. Research shows that cognitive restructuring and adaptive coping approaches can improve thinking and stress management by reducing anxiety.

Cannot live in the present

Perfectionism makes you worry about the future, making life difficult. Scientists found that perfectionists who worry about the future or past can't appreciate the present. Instead of enjoying and connecting with their present experiences and surroundings, focusing on what people will do or do wrong might diminish life's pleasure. Research shows that mindfulness-based therapies minimize perfectionism by promoting present-moment awareness and health. To live healthier and happier, scientific literature stresses recognizing and addressing this mismatch in time.

Impatience and frustration

One can say that perfectionism is taxing on the mind and emotions therefore, it causes impatience and irritation. Cognitive-behavioral approaches attribute impatience to pressure to produce results quickly and properly. This makes deviations from norms seem like failures. Perfectionism can induce cognitive mistakes that generate irritation and harmful behaviors like avoiding or delaying tasks. Research shows that cognitive-behavioral therapies that change perfectionist ideas and promote healthy coping can reduce impatience, irritation, goal-setting, and stress.

Acute or chronic stress

Chronic stress is induced by long-term stress response system activity. This involves cortisol release. Always wanting to be excellent and fearful of failure can cause chronic stress, which can harm health. Research demonstrates that perfectionism can cause long-term stress that must be addressed. It also reveals how mindfulness and cognitive restructuring might reduce stress's long-term health impacts.

Anxiety disorders

Cognitive-behavioral theories explain the intricate relationship between trying to be perfect and anxiety disorders. The demand for approval and fear of making mistakes that come with perfectionism generate anxiety, according to scientists. Long-term concern can lead to serious anxiety disorders like generalized or social anxiety disorder. Cognitive restructuring and behavioral interventions for pathological perfectionism reduce anxiety symptoms. Perfectionism, a risk factor for anxiety disorders, must be addressed to produce focused and complete therapy.

Eating disorders

Psychology and cognitive-behavioral theories explain how perfectionism causes and maintains eating disorders. Trying to be flawless might lead to seeking a perfect body image and needing to control your appearance. This involves having excessive expectations of a flawless body and following rigorous diet and exercise regimens. Research shows that perfectionism causes people to dislike their bodies and eat poorly. Prevention and rehabilitation require thorough therapy that addresses the perfectionistic outlook and disordered eating patterns. Scientific study suggests that we need a deeper knowledge of how perfectionism and eating disorders interact to develop better therapies.

Take It One Day At A Time

Perfectionism is a psychological disorder that cannot be uprooted in a single day. One needs patience, practice, and guidance. Now, you do not have to worry about the last part because Zivanza is here to provide you with all the guidance you need to overcome perfectionism. Our expert team of psychologists helps you get a hold of it with practical tools and techniques so you can live life to the fullest in the best quality.


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