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Welcome to 3-2-1 Tuesdays with Better Wellness Naturally- Overcoming Perfectionism

Thank you for joining us for 3-2-1 Tuesdays!

Quick bits of therapeutic info and learning, ideas, concepts, and quotes.

Brought to you by Better Wellness Naturally

3: Keys

2: Concepts

1: Quick Article

"Letting go of perfectionism isn't about lowering our standards; it's about embracing our humanity and finding strength in vulnerability."— Brené Brown

3 Keys to Overcoming the Pattern of Perfectionism:
  1. Understanding the Perfectionism Trap: Perfectionism often manifests as an unrelenting pursuit of perceived flawlessness, driven by the fear of failure, rejection, or criticism. For whatever reason, we decide that something has to be “just so,” and we consider anything different or less than that to be a failure, bad, or wrong. Where did we learn to do this and why? As those of you who are doing the work already know, we do a lot of deep diving into habits and patterns. Recognizing the detrimental effects of the pattern of maladaptive perfectionism on mental health—and on the quality of our life in general— is the first step toward breaking free from its grip.

  2. Reframing Perceived Failures as a Learning Opportunity: The Yogic principle of Pratipaksha Bhavana teaches that we can consciously and consistently choose to substitute the balancing positives in the places where the negative thoughts, words, and actions have shown up. So, instead of viewing mistakes and setbacks as reflections of personal worth or competence, this concept asks that we consciously and consistently learn to reframe our perceived “less thans” as valuable learning experiences.

  3. Practicing Self-Compassion: Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially during times of difficulty or perceived failure. Instead of harsh self-criticism, practice having a compassionate inner dialogue that acknowledges your efforts and humanity (yes, Pratipaksha Bhavana.)

A Couple of Concepts: Is There a Balanced Approach?
  1. Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations: Perfectionists often set excessively high standards, leading to an ongoing cycle of frustration and disappointment when these standards are not met. Thus, as tough as it may seem sometimes, it’s important to keep in mind that your idea of “perfect” isn’t necessarily someone else’s idea of perfection.

  2. Seeking Support from Others: Perfectionism often feels like a barrier as many of find ourselves hiding vulnerabilities or imperfections due to fear. But what if we could shift from solitude to solidarity? Imagine the power in moving from isolation to creating connections through the very imperfections we tend to conceal.

A Quick Overview:  The Science of Overcoming Perfectionism

As noted above, perfectionists tend to set unrealistic expectations for themselves—and for others— which can create a persistent sense of failure, inadequacy, and disappointment. This constant striving for the unrealistic or unattainable can contribute to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, which are core components of depression.

Yet, perfectionism can indeed be a useful tool for personal development when approached correctly.

Here’s Why: This complex trait manifests in two main types: adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism.

Adaptive perfectionism, or Perfectionist Striving, supports well-being by setting high but realistic standards, acknowledging strengths and limitations, and fostering resilience in the face of setbacks. It's associated with deriving satisfaction from achievements despite imperfections and promoting a healthy pursuit of goals and challenges.

Conversely, maladaptive perfectionism, or Perfectionist Concerns, sets excessively high and often unrealistic standards, leading to a cycle of fear of failure, stress, and self-doubt. This form of perfectionism can contribute to various mental disorders, including depression and anxiety, and significantly impact emotional health.

Thus, understanding and leveraging the positive aspects of perfectionism while mitigating its negative effects is critical to your wellbeing—that’s why we focus on education rather than pathologizing at Better Wellness.

Fluidly transitioning from maladaptive to adaptive perfectionism involves embracing a growth mindset—believing abilities can be developed through dedication and effort—and employing strategies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and resilience-building activities. This shift helps cultivate a balanced perspective on success, failure, and personal development, transforming perfectionism from a barrier into a conduit for achievement and growth.



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