High-achiever, perfectionist… Sound like you?
If you were to be described by others, might they say that you are persistent, disciplined, a workaholic or having super high standards?
If you’re having trouble “stopping”, find that relaxing is “unproductive” or have a really hard time dealing with your own or other people’s short-comings, it might be safe to say that you are probably a high achiever or perfectionist.
You take a lot of pride in the quality of your work, the strictness of your regimen, and have a difficult time accepting anything that might be less than excellent.
Likely, you recognize your successes but can’t stop striving to do better. But this is often not the whole story – holding yourself to such high standards can make dealing with inevitable setbacks hard.
Can Perfectionism and High Achievement Become A Detriment?
High-achievement comes with perks, but it can also come with many costs. While high achievers and perfectionists tend to excel in most of what they set out to do, the internal struggles often go unnoticed.
These are some of the internal struggles that high achievers and perfectionists experience– do any of these resonate with you?
- The fear of failure is constantly looming and little attention is given to learning how to cope with disappointment
- You believe that your successes define you, and that others will only value you based on that as well
- Don’t know the difference between being busy and being productive, often confusing productivity with busy work
- Have difficulty tolerating moments of relaxation, or see self-care as a “waste of time”
- Your drive and motivation is based on “tangible” results or in receiving external validation by others
- Nothing is ever enough- the bar is always higher and higher
- Feeling that it’s a lonely place to be, and people don’t get why this is so important to you
- Imposing your high standards on others, causing conflict or friction in your relationships
When your high standards negatively impact other aspects of your life, it may be time to re-examine your definition of achievement and how you approach success.
I want to have more inner peace- how can therapy help?
If being a high-achiever is negatively impacting your life, it may help to discuss these concerns with a therapist who understands how to help you navigate the conscious and subconscious issues surrounding your challenge with “nothing is ever enough”.
During our sessions, we will discuss your past achievements, current goals, and lifestyle in order to develop solutions for you, including how to manage your stress and time.
Therapy for high achievers and perfectionists can help you learn to:
- Recognize the progress you have made and the milestones you have already achieved
- Learn how to effectively cope with stress related to high-achievement and perfectionism
- Develop new perspectives about your goals, yourself, the achievements of others, and healthy expectation-setting
- Address burnout, if applicable
- Limit worries and fears of failure associated with perfectionism
- Be kind when you speak to yourself, and give yourself grace when you do fail
- Challenge “all or nothing” or “black and white” thoughts so you can appreciate the small successes that add up
If you are ready to free yourself from those rigid definitions of what success means and redefine them on your own terms, we are ready to help.