The vicious cycle of perfectionism! ~ Health Guide

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The vicious cycle of perfectionism!

Written by Mystic on Saturday, January 19, 2008

Picture this! These two employees in an office are assigned the same task and the same deadline. Ritu does her best and leaves at 6.00 p.m, whistling. Saumitra, on the other hand, rewrites, deletes, restarts again, checks his work endlessly and finally leaves the office at 8.00 p.m, still unhappy with his final result. The difference? Well, Ritu is a flexible thinker while Saumitra is a perfectionist.

Like Saumitra, do you also feel that what you accomplish is never quite good enough? Do you often put off turning in papers and projects, waiting to get them just right? Do you feel that you must give more than 100% on everything you do? Well, psychologists believe that perfectionism is an increasing problem both at workplace and at home. Read on

The vicious cycle of perfectionism!

There's nothing wrong in striving to do the best in whatever you undertake. However, the key is to know your limitations and not go overboard. Some people try to be perfectionists in every sphere of their life with potentially fatal results. Their attitude sets them into a motion of a vicious cycle. Wondering how?

Well, this is how. First, perfectionists set unreachable goals. Second, they fail to meet these unachievable goals. Third, the constant pressure to achieve perfection and the inevitable failure reduces their productivity and effectiveness. Fourth, this cycle leads perfectionists to be self-critical and with a lowered self-esteem. It may lead to anxiety and depression. Infact, studies have linked perfectionism with depression, stress and even suicide.

Of course, you're not likely to die in the pursuit of perfection, but a constant cycle of striving, failure and self-criticism does create stress, which floods the blood with stress hormones. These can impair your immune system, making you more vulnerable to everything from the flu to hypertension. Since the perfectionists expect others to be perfect too, they end up having more arguments, more broken relationships and more stress in their day-to-day life.

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