Overcoming Perfectionism: Strategies for Managing Self-Expectations and Pressure

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Overcoming Perfectionism: Strategies for Managing Self-Expectations and Pressure

Perfectionism is being considered as a personality trait which is characterized by being flawless and  faultless. Oftenly it is considered as a healthy motivator in moderation but excessive perfectionism may be the reason behind stress which in turn  diminish the chances of success. Therefore, the ability to distinguish between healthy (adaptive) and unhealthy (maladaptive) perfectionism may help us understand whether we are helping or hurting ourselves.


Adaptive Perfectionism:

1. In adaptive perfectionism, individuals set high standards for themselves but maintain a healthy balance.

2. They strive for excellence, exhibit strong work ethic, and pay attention to details.

3. Mistakes are viewed as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than sources of shame or failure.

4. Adaptive perfectionists are driven by intrinsic motivation and a genuine desire to improve themselves.

5. They can effectively manage stress and maintain a sense of perspective.

Maladaptive Perfectionism:

1. Maladaptive perfectionism is characterized by unattainable standards and excessive self-criticism.

2. Individuals with maladaptive perfectionism are driven by a fear of failure and a need for external validation.

3. They constantly pursue flawlessness and experience chronic dissatisfaction with their own performance.

4. Mistakes or imperfections are seen as personal failures, leading to increased stress and anxiety.

5. Maladaptive perfectionism can negatively impact self-esteem, relationships, and overall well-being.


Most people engage in perfectionism from time to time or in certain areas of life. People who are nearly full-time perfectionists may feel the need to achieve perfection constantly. They might also:

1. Not be able to complete a task until they are certain they can complete it flawlessly.

2. Consider the finished product to be the most crucial aspect of any project. As a result, they could pay less attention to actually learning something new or doing something to the best of their abilities. 

3. Wait until the outcome satisfies their requirements before declaring a work complete.

4. Procrastinate. Perfectionists might wait to start a task unless they are confident they can complete it flawlessly.

5. Take an excessive amount of time to finish a work that would normally be finished by others quickly.


1. List the benefits and drawbacks of being a perfectionist. Reconsider the drawbacks if you catch yourself slipping back into perfectionism, then proceed.

2. Make realistic goals for yourself. Setting realistic goals will stop you from aiming for impossible perfection. By doing so, you can use the resources at your disposal to accomplish your goals.

3. Assign assignments a time limit and make sure you stick to it. Establish a reasonable time limit for the activity at hand and stick to it to avoid wasting time trying to complete it precisely.

4. Avoid putting things off. Instead than focusing on the result, concentrate on the task. You might prevent overworking if you can divide your task into smaller, more manageable chunks to do one step at a time.

5. Remember that mistakes are not bad. Celebrate them.

6. Pursue different things that matter to you and make you happy. Avoid focusing on perfecting only one thing.


Treating perfectionism and going to the side of adaptive perfectionism is a journey that is unique to you, therefore it's crucial to discover what works best for you. At Solh Wellness, we work to provide people with proactive mental health solutions before their situation worsens. To proactively support your mental health, try out several techniques and make self-care a priority in your daily life. Install the Solh Wellness App to start experiencing the transformation.