The Perfect Storm – Is Perfectionism Fueling Your Burnout?

“If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment and blame.” Brené Brown

Do you set unrealistic standards for yourself and others? Do you beat yourself up when you fail to reach the goals you set? Do you ever say (or think) that failure is not an option? If you’re nodding your head, thinking this describes you (or someone you know) it could be a sign of perfectionism.

Our North American work culture tends to reward perfectionists for their ambitions, high standards, and grit. But there is a price to pay for chronic perfectionism, and that price can be burnout.

But take heart! Not all perfectionism is created equally. By incorporating a simple mindset shift you can ease back on the throttle and learn how to relax and still get the results you want. How? By choosing the striving mindset over the perfectionist mindset. What’s the difference?

Perfectionist mindset:
• Nothing short of perfect will do.
• Setting impossible standards.
• Believing mistakes = worthlessness.
• Perceiving failure/disappointment as dejection.

Striving mindset:
• Focusing on progress as well as results.
• Setting high, but realistic standards.
• Believing mistakes = opportunity for learning.
• Perceiving failure/disappointment as opportunity for growth.

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious and high achieving. But if your standards create fears and anxiety and you’re using perfectionism as a shield – a way of preventing yourself from revealing your true self – you may be making yourself more susceptible to burn out.

How can you use your striving mindset to make the world a better place today?