A perfect sunset or could it be better? Does that boat on the horizon ruin the experience and spoil the whole thing. Have I failed because this isn’t a perfect photograph?
We all like to do well, but if you find yourself rarely satisfied with the result or perceive yourself as having failed despite doing well then you might be a perfectionist.
Of course having perfectionist traits often results in high achievement and being the person at work or in the home that can be relied upon to do the job. But if you are never satisfied with the results, or always feel you could have done better then this will impact negatively on your self-esteem. Being perfectionist is also exhausting; all that constant striving!
I attended a BABCP workshop on just these traits last week in Bristol Zoo (great location, and hadn’t been there since I was 11). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can treat Clinical Perfectionism, using knowledge gained from treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anorexia. If you have perfectionist tendencies then times of stress may urge you to try harder and may bring success but this can tip over into depression or anxiety and lead to constant self criticism.
Struggling with your mood or your mental health is not a failure, and any set-back does not negate any progress made. Changing the way we think takes time but the reward is recognising at last that you are good enough.