A perfectionist man runs into a problem

When Being a Perfectionist Becomes a Problem

When does being a perfectionist become a problem? Clinical psychologist Raksha Rajesh shares some tips for perfectionists whose inner critic is too loud, making them feel stress, shame, or worthlessness.




As a perfectionist, you might feel that you’re not doing good enough. No matter how hard you try, that inner voice might keep telling you that you are inadequate or there’s something more that you can do.


Feeling like this constantly, over and over again, can actually increase that self- criticism in you, and it can be really overwhelming and exhausting. This is when being a perfectionist becomes a problem.


What can you do about it? Imagine that there is a friend who is going through the same situation. Now, in this situation, what would you end up telling that friend? You would probably say, “Hey, it’s OK. It’s fine. This one thing doesn’t define you.” Maybe there are 99 other things that you have done which define you more than your self-critical voice.


Another technique for perfectionists who feel  self-criticism is a problem is this 2-minute self-kindness exercise.


Start by sitting in quiet, private place. Wrap your arms around yourself and embrace yourself firmly but gently. It may feel uncomfortable or silly at first, if you’ve not tried it, but research proves its effectiveness. Hugging yourself silently tells your body you’re supported, even when your inner voice is running you down.


Remember that that inner voice of yours is not a true reflection of who you are.



Read more about being a perfectionist with a critical inner voice:


Raksha Rajesh (M.Sc., M.Phil., CRR No. A80195) is a clinical psychologist licensed by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). She has 5+ years of experience in helping people from diverse backgrounds build skills to understand and manage their emotions.

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