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Perfectionism – All You Need to Know About

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We hear it as an appreciation all the time, ‘you are just perfect!’

But sometimes being too perfect can be problematic! In the utopian world, perfection is yearning, but according to psychologists, too much perfection is not good.

People with perfectionism hold themselves to high standards, and they think whatever they do is not good enough. Some people think of perfectionism as a healthy motivator, but actually, it makes you feel unhappy and grumpy.

Besides, it can lead to severe mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Perfectionism can affect studies, work, relationships and inner peace. Ultimately, it will affect all aspects of one’s life.

Are too lofty expectations wrecking your mental peace?

Then this blog is for you. We have mentioned everything you need to know about perfectionism and how you can overcome it.

What are the signs of perfectionism?

  • Being highly critical

Perfectionists are highly critical of themselves and others. Achievers tend to celebrate the successes of others as well as themselves equally, whereas perfectionists tend to point out the teeny-tiny mistakes.

  • They fear the fear

People who are on their way to accomplishing success move forward by facing both success and failure as part and parcel of the journey. But the perfectionist would fear failure and break down whenever they face something less than meeting their goal.

  • Procrastination

Procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand. As perfectionists fear failure, they tend to procrastinate their work and criticise themselves for not being perfect.

  • Low self-esteem

Understandable that perfectionists tend to be perfect always; they criticise themselves all the time and compare themselves. Sometimes, they can isolate themselves as they may feel under-confident in front of others.

  • Feedbacks make them highly defensive

Well, it’s a common human trait to feel offended when someone gives us negative feedback. But perfectionists have a tough time digesting even constructive feedback.

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How to overcome perfectionism?

Here are the steps to overcome perfectionism.

Step 1: Acceptance

The first step is to accept that you have perfectionism. Don’t worry, and there is nothing wrong with it. Being a perfectionist, you may find it hard to accept, but it is an important step.

Step 2: Tips to overcome perfectionism

  • Establish realistic thinking

Perfectionists tend to be very critical of themselves. One of the best ways to overcome a negative state of mind is by replacing it with a genuine and happy state of mind.  

  • Get a new perspective

Getting a new perspective is essential for perfectionists. They tend to have a hard time seeing things from another perspective. Changing their perspective can help them maintain mental peace.

For instance, if you cannot complete a task because you are not feeling well, rather than beating yourself up, think that it’s ok not to complete it today and give your body some rest. You can take it up on priority as soon as you feel better.

  • Look at the big picture

Perfectionists tend to worry over little things. It is better to question the significance of things that bother you and whether they matter. Try to look out for a bigger picture rather than stressing over things that won’t matter.

  • Create realistic schedules: Don’t overburden yourself. Set an everyday work list and follow it. It will allow you to deliver your best, and everything will be done in time.

Difference between healthy and unhealthy perfectionism

Healthy Perfectionism

Healthy perfectionism is characterised by having high standards for oneself as well as others. Being consistent and persistent in the face of adversity is another characteristic.

It usually takes you in a goal-oriented direction and helps you develop excellent organisation skills.

For instance, a person with healthy perfectionism will do his/her best when it comes to work and strive hard to exceed expectations. However, if they face any failure, they won’t get upset or be hard on themselves.

Unhealthy Perfectionism

Unhealthy perfectionism can be characterised by excessive deep thinking about past mistakes, fears, failures, doubts, self and whatnot.

For instance, you are a hard-working person and are doing great at your job, but you will always ask for reassurance from others, or if you fail to meet a deadline, you will overthink and criticise yourself.

The Bottom Line

If you find any perfectionist traits in yourself or your dear ones, don’t feel bad; recognising it is one of the most significant achievements. Taking therapy can help to understand the cause and can help you to overcome it completely. Also, always remember that ‘almost perfect’ is still a great compliment.

Book screening with our director of triage,  Kamlesh Verma
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Why Cadabams?

At Cadabams, we ensure that you and your loved ones get the treatment you need and deserve. Our team of psychiatrists is an expert in psychosocial rehabilitation, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT), and family-focused therapy that has proven to be highly effective in alleviating the need for perfectionism all the time. We have over two decades of expertise in handling the most complex and severe perfectionism-related challenges. Our multispecialty team of psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, physicians work round the clock and are with you every step of the way.

Cadabams is widely trusted by various healthcare experts to help individuals suffering from the sense of perfectionism that impacts productivity in their day-to-day lives. It is a comfortable facility where individuals are treated with attention, love, care, and concern. We offer an exclusive range of solutions and treatments based on the condition and issues faced by an individual.

Call us on our mental health helpline +91 96111 94949 for further details.

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that perfectionism and being critical about it is not a sign of weakness. We don’t use any term in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends and common usage. In case you or a loved one share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us at


Is perfectionism a mental health disorder?

No, perfectionism is not considered a mental health disorder. However, it is the most common indicator or symptom in most mental health ailments, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.

What causes perfectionism?

Individuals suffer from perfectionism when they assume that their self-worth is based on their accomplishments. So, they end up believing that any form of lack of perfectionism is not acceptable. In their quest to retain their self-worth, they end up being highly critical about their daily endeavours. Such need for perfectionism may prove to be highly counterproductive to their mental health, and happiness.

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