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How to overcome perfectionism – and not lower your standards

perfectionism at the desk, man sitting at organised desk
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Fear of failure, highly critical, unrealistic standards, procrastination, high achieving, defensiveness.

If you recognise some of these traits in yourself, you may also relate to being described as a perfectionist or having perfectionist tendencies.

'On Your Mind' is a regular column by Chartered clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald. She is a keynote speaker and published author. Stephanie's clinical specialisms are anxiety disorders and trauma, and she has worked as a Health and Wellbeing Consultant across varied industries. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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Challenging your perfectionism

Finding fault in perfection can feel challenging. After all, for a long time perfection has been seen as the ultimate aim and the ultimate compliment.  Perfection means without flaw and without any possible improvement. Who wouldn’t want to aim for that?

Challenging perfection is incredibly emotive because people confuse perfection with having high standards and perfectionists in particular are prone to very black and white thinking cognitive bias. This means perfectionists believe that something is either perfect or worthless. How can you let go of perfection when you believe the alternative is pointless or inconsequential?

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