Perfectionism is one of the most common symptoms of low self esteem. Perfectionism can destructively chip away at your healthy self-esteem. Perfectionist probably learned early in their life that others only value him because of the things he can do and have accomplished. Perfectionist’s self esteem is based primarily from external standards. This leaves him defenseless and extremely sensitive to other people’s opinion and criticism. As such the decision to be perfect is the only defense from such criticism.
Some of the reasons for perfectionism are listed below:
- Fear of failure is among of the reasons for perfectionism. Often times, perfectionists blame their failures to lack of personal worth.
- Another reason is being afraid to make mistakes. For perfectionists, mistakes and failure are the same. They miss opportunities to learn and grow by living their lives avoiding mistakes.
- Fear of rejection is a one of the most common reasons. Perfectionists are often afraid that if other people will see their flaws, they will be rejected.
- Rigid Rules. Perfectionists live with rigid rules structured by a never-ending list of “should.”
When measuring yourself by what you don’t accomplish rather than by what you do accomplish, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. The need to be perfect quickly leads to a distrust of the ability to judge what’s good and what isn’t. When you can’t trust your own feelings of self-worth, you look to others to define and affirm your self-esteem. Perfectionism only allows one way to enhance self-esteem — that’s by being perfect. As such, when a perfectionist believes she isn’t perfect, she feels guilty, frustrated and unhappy. Perfectionism is a never-ending negative cycle of self-abuse.
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