Perfectionism And Anxiety, Is There Really A Connection?

July 9, 2020

perfectionism and anxiety

Perfectionism and anxiety, what’s the link? We’ve grown up believing that everything we do has very little ‘wiggle room.’ Things must be done right the first time and mistakes are unacceptable. Unacceptable to who, and why? Let’s see if this sounds like you right now…

“If I don’t do it perfectly I won’t do it at all!”

Our lives become smaller and smaller as time goes on due to perfectionism and anxiety. In the years I’ve been working with people through my programs I’ve found that this habit is formed at childhood. As children, we quickly learn what the rules and laws are in this world as we gradually feel more and more dependant on others.

This dependency takes us out of independence, a place of total responsibility and a mind at peace. As we repeatedly get told what our identities are we grow up with beliefs that don’t support any personal thinking or creativity. Whenever we have a bright idea we couldn’t imagine that it could come from us, our self worth has dropped drastically.

Perfectionism and anxiety are subconscious conditions. Habits that we can see beyond through speaking our truth.

Speaking our truth means speaking up, not suppressing. But who to speak up to in order to heal perfectionism and anxiety? the very people that originally made us feel like nothing is worth doing unless it’s done ‘right.’ Reframing the past then becomes an essential tool to be used daily towards healing (use the reframing videos in this YouTube playlist daily).

Perfectionism is perceived as being equal to achievement, happiness, and success.

What hoopla! Perfectionism eats up our time, energy, and ultimately our health. Perfectionism and anxiety come from ideas during childhood that connect to receiving an authority figures love. The ‘perfect’ child has a chance of approval by their parents and therefore doesn’t feel like their existence is a mistake.

Inherently, there is a deep underlying fear of inadequacy.

There is a consistent fear that the persons ‘flaws’ will be revealed and therefore their whole identity will crumble. In truth, this is the pathway to freedom from perfectionism and anxiety since this artificial identity is a result of pleasing others before ourselves. Our true selves can only be revealed when we are witness to and fine with our imperfections in the face of the people we respect the most.

There is a deep belief within perfectionist people that to be less perfect is to show vulnerability. They believe that this is ultimately a sign of weakness, until they begin questioning this belief with all their heart. Vulnerability is the initial steps to healing anxiety in fact, and it must be respected and learned from if a person is to heal.

Here are 3 things we must begin doing today to overcome perfectionism and anxiety:

  1. Learn to make friends with vulnerability. Discomfort at the beginning stages of this inner transformation is a given. Unless we respect these feelings and new experiences nothing will change.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s time to focus on your personal journey and less on what others are doing.
  3. Evaluate your perfectionism logically. This will take you out of your regular auto pilot mode and into deeper awareness and conscious thinking.

Change work is always uncomfortable in the beginning, doubtful in the middle, and beautiful in the end. The key is to stay relentless in your pursuit of shifting the unhelpful habits that come with perfectionism and anxiety starting today, and only look back to see how far you’ve come.

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2 comments on “Perfectionism And Anxiety, Is There Really A Connection?

  1. It’s my belief that perfectionism and anxiety does exist in only some people as a result of needing more than a reasonable amount of control in our lives. Perfection is non-existent like the idea of infinity which can be reached or obtained so we must moderate our goals.