Counselling support for eating disorders and body image.
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5 tips to relax on perfectionism and raise self-esteem
by Harriet Frew on June 20th, 2018

PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT​

The burden of perfection is intense in society today. Social media floods us daily with filtered, airbrushed, carefully chosen pictures, of people living happy lives, looking attractive and achieving wonderful things. And it never goes away! It is present, relentless and fully accessible 24/7. 

If this alone wasn’t enough, the constant pressure to achieve is omnipresent and even encouraged. We are all supremely busy, almost wearing this as a badge of honour – achieving, climbing the career ladder, parenting and excelling in our hobbies. Understandably, we have less time for face-to-face relationships and deeper connections. Switching off from the busyness can increasingly involve time spent alone, whilst scrolling through our feeds and distorting further our perceptions and expectations of what is real. There is more opportunity than ever before to compare, compare, compare and then to feel inadequate.

ROOTS OF PERFECTIONISM

Some of us will be more prone to the vulnerabilities of perfectionist striving, than others.  Early experiences from often well-intentioned demanding parents, critical teachers or other authority figures can engrain deeply the messages of self-worth being highly dependent on grades, achievement or looks. Acceptance or approval can begin to feel highly conditional on us meeting these expectations, with the strong fear that we are undeserving of love or acceptance unless we continue to strive, achieve and perfect. 

Long after the early authority figures have disappeared from our lives, or faded into the background of daily life; we enter the adult world, with the internal critique embedded firmly in our psyche. It feels normal and almost right to self-impose these often impossible standards. Thinking is also rigid being very black and white: ‘I am perfect or I’m failing’. Shades of grey feel incomprehensible or just a bit ‘meh’ - ‘Why bother if I can’t be perfect?’ It is this perspective that can often leave people feeling reluctant to change their perfectionist drive. It might not feel achievable to feel good about yourself, whilst simultaneously relinquishing perfection.


5 tips to dilute perfectionism and raise self-esteem .............................


Posted in Comparing self, Perfectionism, Self-esteem    Tagged with Perfectionism, perfect, self-esteem, low self-esteem, striving, pressure


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Counselling support for eating disorders and body image.