Is perfectionism healthy?

Margaret Rutherford, psychologist and author, has recently written a guide about identifying and understanding ‘perfectionism’.

There is healthy perfectionism, according to psychologists, which is a trait that allows people to learn from their mistakes and find enjoyment from doing the best they can. Some people, however, may be suffering from “destructive perfectionism” which is in fact damaging their well-being.

A few of the traits Rutherford states as signs of destructive perfectionism include:

  • Being highly perfectionistic, driven by a constant critical inner voice.
  • Using accomplishments to feel validated.
  • Difficulty expressing emotions, preferring to remain analytical about situations.

The guide provides a detailed 5-stage solution to combat destructive perfectionism: consciousness, commitment, confrontation, connection, and change.

Rutherford notes that “striving to appear perfect at all times is a counterproductive strategy”, which can in fact be linked to ill mental health. Noticing unhealthy practices will allow you to then start introducing methods to change these habits.

The end goal, to overcome this form of perfectionism, is to celebrate mistakes and to enjoy the journey of failures and successes that come with work and life itself.

To read the detailed guide of “How to get over ‘never good enough’” please click here.

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