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The Perfectionism Paradox

winning, gold, perfect, procrastination

I remember the first time I submitted a blog for Amy Wine Counseling. It was an absolutely terrifying experience. Thoughts of “what if people don’t like it” and “what if I say the wrong thing” swirled around in my head. Soon enough, I realized that it had been a significant amount of time and I had not written anything. Now, concerns about meeting the standards of a new job are absolutely normal feelings. It is when those feelings become paralyzing that the real problem arises. I knew that to meet the expectation of my employer I needed to submit my work in a timely manner. I also had to accept whatever feedback (critical or otherwise) that came my way after completing my assigned task. This got me over the hump of self-doubt.

For someone who is a perfectionist this hump of self-doubt may seem more like a mountain that is impossible to climb. When the mountain looks too tall to climb you decide to wait until it is an absolute necessity before starting the trek. This image is used to describe the most paradoxical part of perfectionism – procrastination. For many people perfectionism and procrastination seem like two things on opposite ends of the spectrum. It is likely that you will hear (or think) something of,  “There is no way my kid is a perfectionist. He ALWAYS waits until the last minute to do his assignments”. When the fear of failure is so great that it seems impossible to tolerate, avoidance (i.e. procrastination) is a natural step away from that unbearable emotion.

The desire to avoid makes a lot of sense when your sense of identity and worth is tied so closely to your perceived performance. So what can you do to break patterns of procrastination and confront perfectionism when it rears its ugly head?

First, recognize what is going on.

Second, ask for help.

Sometimes it is just an outside viewpoint from a supportive individualand/or some skill building that can bring about significant change.

When you are ready to strive to be imperfect let us know! We are here to embrace the imperfection that makes you wonderful and you can reach us HERE. Call us at 832-421-8714 or email to make an appointment.


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