• Break The Vicious Cycle Of Perfectionism And Fear Of Failure



    One thing almost every one of my clients has in common is a belief that they somehow fail at life. I usually spend a lot of time assuring them that they’re doing well.

    There are many aspects to why we feel bad about ourselves, but a lot of it has to do with the modern world of interconnectedness and the way we see so much apparent “perfection” on social media. Our competitive upbringing is to blame as well.

    Your mission today is to learn how to break the cycle of perfectionism, fear of failure, and security thinking.

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    Task 1: Where does our perfectionism come from?


    I believe a number of factors work together here: We’re brought up in the spirit of competition (who’s best in class, who’s the fastest in sports…). We’re also taught to fear mistakes (that’s how school exams are graded by, after all).

    By the time we’re grown, we’re conditioned to fear mistakes and compare ourselves with everyone else. Our parents and grandparents had their neighbours or colleagues to compare themselves to – thanks to social media, we have hundreds of people plus celebrities! No wonder we feel like we don’t measure up.

    Task 2: Learn to recognise the consequences


    All this has consequences we’re not even aware of a lot of the time:

    • We look to feel secure, and that means playing it small.
    • No risks or new ventures we might be “bad” at.
    • Perfectionism and the fear of visibility.
    • Overachieving and burning out.

    Photo by Couleur on pixabay.com


    Task 3: Break the cycle


    You may have guessed by now that breaking this cycle of perfectionism and fear of failure isn’t a quick or easy task. It’ll require long-term commitment. Here are some easy first steps to get you started:

    • Try not to judge anyone for 24 hours (people you know, politicians, …).
    • Meditate on the concept that everything is worthy just by being.
    • Look for ways of celebrating other people’s successes. Notice your feelings.
    • Take regular breaks from social media.