Perfectionism

| The search for perfect

People are sometimes described, or describe themselves, as ‘perfectionists’ and indeed about half of people are born with an innate preference for closure, idealism or control that can lead, naturally, to an amplification of a search for ‘perfect’.  When the drive is a natural expression of an innate preference like this it can lead to significant personal success and achievement in the world. However, like all strengths, it is exaggerated when you experience sudden or chronic stress and can become an achilles heel. Additionally, like other behaviours and responses in life and work, this pattern may also have roots in the relationship system in which the individual belongs.

Unchecked perfectionism – the kind that usually has its roots in a relationship system – can take over a life and lead to burnout (“I’m exhausted by working to try and make everything perfect”), eating issues (“I will only eat the perfect foods / I will look perfect. . . “), obsession with work/process addiction (“I must get everything just perfect. . .”), romanticism/affairs/separation (“I’ll find the perfect lover/partner. . . “), OCD (“Everything must be controlled/clean/tidy/perfect. . . “) and depression (“Nothing is perfect, I give up.”).

When the roots of perfectionism are found, acknowledged and honoured in the system then the effect softens and the dynamics can be the source of significant inner resource and strength.

There are several systemic roots to perfectionism worth considering if you recognise this quality in yourself. Please scroll down for more.

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