Connection between Perfectionism and Shame

Many people self-identify as perfectionists. Are you one of them? Or maybe you just aren’t sure. Have you ever done something because the voice inside your head was saying “What will people think?”

As we dive into perfectionism this month at Onward, we need to explore this dysfunctional emotional tendency because perfectionism has been associated with increased stress, physical health problems, mental health issues, and a high risk of burnout. It will eat through your resilience the way a colony of termites can churn through wood.

I love this 3 minute conversation between Brené Brown and Oprah in which Brené shares some amazing insight into perfectionism. Watch it and think about your own tendencies. And if you are indeed a perfectionist, follow Elena’s advice and get reflective:

  • Make a list of what might be possible if you curtailed your perfectionist tendencies.
  • What could you do in your life?
  • How might you feel?
  • Commit to exploring and uprooting the origins of your perfectionism.
  • If needed, get the help of a mental health professional.
  • Substitute unhelpful self-talk by saying to yourself: This is good enough, and good enough is great; I am enough. I do enough.