‘Do what I say not what I do’ – addressing perfectionism

YennPurkis

There is a Simpsons episode where Homer is unsuccessful in a job interview. The successful candidate goes in before Homer and is asked the question ‘What are your weaknesses?’ He responds with ‘Well, I’m a workaholic and a perfectionist…’ Presumably the meaning here being that the candidate’s weaknesses are actually big strengths. I actually am a workaholic and perfectionist and can report that sometimes those qualities are a good thing but often they aren’t.

I have been talking and writing about the dangers of perfectionism for some time. Perfectionism is like a mixture of anxiety about change, anxiety about performance and fear of failure. Perfectionism can stop people form doing any work at all for fear it won’t be good enough. Some people won’t take on  new challenges because they might do it ‘wrong’ and some will not try new skills or activities – even leisure ones – for fear…

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