Perfectionistic tendencies most surely can lead to anxiety. Having high expectations of ourselves can place undue pressure to perform and may give rise to a state of shame when that inner voice of ours beats us down again and again for not being good enough. Shame can manifest as mental and physical illness and has shown to create a state where it presents as turned away eyes, a heaviness in the chest and uneasiness in the gut. Shame affects us and all our 5 components that make up our brain network.
There’s an old Navaho proverb about those amazing colourful rugs that they make. Each rug is imperfect and has a knot in it. Upon asking the weaver why they respond “ Each and every rug is imperfect and the knot is put there for a reason. That reason is so that god doesn’t think the weaver is trying to be god too”……….
Cultivating the mindfulness attitudes of non striving and acceptance assist us in setting realistic goals that are attainable. I’ve always loved the 80/20 rule where we always strive for 100%, accept that we are human and reserve a 20% rate of human error buffer, leaving an 80% accomplishment rate as acceptable before we batter ourselves with shame.
For me there is enough perfection in imperfection and that is perfect for me 😊
I often see people with perfectionistic tendencies that lead to anxiety in clinic and has its place in my questionnaire to assess and guide the way to treatment.
Below is an excerpt from my questionnaire, which helps client’s to identify and assess their own self induced cortex related processes that may be increasing their anxiety. It also helps me to formulate a strategy to help them achieve their health goals.
Assessing perfectionistic tendencies
□ I have high standards for myself and usually hold myself to them
□ I usually have a right way to do something and find it difficult to vary from that approach
□ People consider me extremely conscientious and careful as a worker
□ When I’m wrong I’m very embarrassed and ashamed
□ When others are watching me I’m concerned that ill humiliate myself
□ I almost never perform at a level that I’m satisfied with
□ I have a hard time letting go of mistakes
□ I feel I have to be hard on myself or I won’t be good enough
If you ticked many of these you may benefit from cognitive restructuring to assist in reducing the amount of pressure you place on yourself and be better equipped to deal with the pressures of work and today’s stressful society. A combination of Mindfulness, NLP and Hypnotherapy are great to create new patterns of behaviour.
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Clinical Hypnotherapist, Qualified NLP Practitioner, Mindfulness Stress Reduction Teacher, and holds Certificate 4 in Fatigue Management.
I believe that we have all the resources within us that are needed to heal ourselves, although having someone that has walked the walk and undertaken the training needed to facilitate you in effecting the change is essential. Find out how you can work with me here.
BY: Scott Allerton
Overcoming Anxiety, Stress Management