Why isn't perfectionism perfect?
Perfectionism can be understood as the human tendency to always want to reach the perfect, flawless ideal, whether in work or in life. However, is perfectionism really “perfect”?
1. What does perfectionism and perfectionism mean?
Perfect means so good, so complete and so perfect that there is nothing to blame. Perfectionism can be seen as a personality tendency, or a mindset, in which people always aim for an unblemished ideal of perfection, whether in work or in life.
2. Why isn't perfectionism perfect?
A scientific study has shown that perfectionism is not always perfect. Research proves that in stressful situations, perfectionists tend to be more stressed than less perfectionists. The study was conducted in 50 physically and mentally healthy men, averaging 42 years old. The perfectionism questionnaire showed 24 highly perfectionist men. They tended to be more anxious, nervous, and exhausted than the other 26.
The researchers measured the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and other stress-related chemicals in their saliva and blood. There were no significant differences in the participants' blood and saliva samples, however this changed when the researchers placed the participants in two stressful situations: A job interview mock test and a 5-minute oral math test in the presence of a male and a female. The researchers monitored the participants' blood pressure and heart rate during the tests. The results showed that salivary cortisol levels in perfectionists rose higher during the test and continued to rise for another 20 minutes, peaking about 10 minutes later than less perfectionists. . An hour after the test, the perfectionist men still had higher salivary cortisol levels than the rest of the men.
3. Harm of perfectionism
The above scientific evidence can partly show that perfectionism is not really as perfect as people think. In fact, perfectionism also brings many harmful effects on psychological health as well as consequences in work and life.
3.1. One of the consequences of perfectionism is that we tend to avoid and delay our work and responsibilities. Because we are afraid to face failure, with mistakes, so we always avoid challenges. Perfectionists also do not dare to admit their own shortcomings and shortcomings, hold themselves back, withdraw and do not dare to face new experiences that promote growth.
3.2. Always feel inferior A perfectionist often finds himself inferior to his ideals and expectations. But instead of realizing that their standards are too high compared to reality, they tend to blame themselves, blame themselves. They feel like a failure, worthless, incompetent and far behind others.
3.3 Mental Illnesses Failure to live up to your expectations leads to disturbing psychological consequences. Several studies have demonstrated that perfectionists may be at risk for conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, or even suicide. In fact, people who follow perfectionism blindly often suffer from a syndrome called perfectionism (Atelophobia). This is a completely curable syndrome if you have the right and timely approach.
4. Atelophobia - What is Perfection Syndrome?
To understand what is Atelophobia syndrome? First of all, we need to understand about phobias. It is an anxiety disorder that manifests as a persistent, unrealistic, and excessive fear. This fear is also known as a specific phobia, which can be about a person, situation, object, or animal.
Atelophobia is of Greek origin, where the prefix Atelo(s) means imperfection and the suffix phobia means fear. So Atelophobia can be understood as the perfect syndrome or the fear of less than perfect. People with this syndrome are extremely perfectionists, always fearing that they are doing something wrong or not good enough. They also obsess a lot about the mistakes they've made, or imagine the mistakes they might make. These thoughts put them under excessive stress, which in turn makes them feel anxious, panicky, nauseated, short of breath, dizzy, and heart palpitations.
5. Atelophobia symptoms
The symptoms of perfectionism have a similar origin to other phobias. Emotional distress is a common symptom of Atelophobia. This may manifest as increased anxiety, panic, excessive fear, indecision, hyperactivity, poor concentration. Excessive anxiety can lead to sleep disturbances and changes in appetite. In addition, people with this syndrome may also have physical manifestations such as hyperventilation, muscle tension, headaches, abdominal pain, etc. Some studies have found that anxiety concerns Perfectionism can lead to burnout in the workplace because of fears and doubts about personal performance.
6. Causes of Atelophobia
Atelophobia can be biological in nature, meaning you feel insecure, sensitive, and overly perfectionist. It is also often the result of a traumatic experience involving failures or pressure to be perfect. Since perfectionism is a personality trait that is learned and reinforced through experience, environmental factors play an important role in the causes of this syndrome.
7. How is Atelophobia diagnosed?
Diagnosis of this syndrome requires a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or a therapist. They will make a diagnosis based on diagnostic criteria for the specific phobia. Because Atelophobia can cause depression, overuse of stimulants, and panic attacks of weakness and paralysis. People with Atelophobia may also seek therapy to diagnose comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, and/or substance use.
8. How to cure Atelophobia
Like other specific phobias, excessive perfectionism can be treated with a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Professionals will use psychotherapy to understand the unconscious motivations of the patient's need for perfection, followed by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to expose fear and change stimuli. change negative thoughts as well as the body's behavioral response to fear of imperfection.
Treatment of Atelophobia, like all phobias, takes time. To be effective, you need to seek the help of a medical professional. Working with a mental health professional allows you to address the thoughts and beliefs behind your fear of making a mistake, and learn new ways to address and cope with these fears. Finding ways to minimize the physical and emotional symptoms associated with Atelophobia is also important for your overall health.
Perfectionism is a great virtue at work and in life. However, if you become a perfectionist, pursuing excessive perfectionism, it can turn into obsessions, fears, and stunt your own growth.
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Reference sources: webmd.com, healthline.com