Understand That Fear Drives Anxiety
Perfectionism can sometimes be so extreme that it’s driven by fear. You may be worried about not being enough, or worried about how others view you.
When these fears control you, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about yourself and how other people are thinking.
Negative thinking often triggers anxiety. In fact, the “unknown” often triggers anxiety as well. Unfortunately, this level of negative thinking can lead to things like panic disorders and depression.
Thinking negatively about yourself, as when perfection and anxiety arise, will make you believe you’ll never reach the standards you’ve set for yourself.
One of the worst parts about taking perfectionism to extremes is that you may have difficulty coping with the symptoms of anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of unless you’re able to lower some of those extreme standards you’ve created for yourself.
Let Go of Negative Thinking
One of the best ways to decrease the negative fuel of perfectionism is to let go of the negative ways you view yourself.
Again, perfectionism doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. But, when you allow it to get so extreme that it affects your self-esteem and how you think people view you, it becomes a problem.
Some people can silence these negative thoughts through self-help techniques like mindfulness or positive affirmations. For others, it’s a more difficult process. Many times, the help of a professional can make a big difference in being able to quiet harmful self-talk.
When you’re able to let go of the negative views you have of yourself, it becomes easier to let go of the fear associated with those views that lead to perfectionism and anxiety, too.
Get Rid of Stress
It may be impossible to remove stress from your life completely. But, do what you can to reduce the extremely stressful situations.
Unsurprisingly, a drive to be perfect can often make areas of your life more stressful than they need to be. But by reducing that stress, you’re less likely to feel anxious or have a sense of panic.
Everything from deep breathing exercises to meditation can help with stress. But, again, it may take the assistance of a professional to really help you manage your stress. In turn, they can also help with your perfectionism and anxiety issues.
How to Cope With Perfectionism and Anxiety
Perfectionism can actually hinder the way you deal with anxiety. So, overcoming some of the negative aspects of this personality trait is often a big step in overcoming anxiety itself.
It takes a lot of practice and the willingness to “let go” of some of your extreme expectations in order to cope with perfectionism. But it’s not impossible.
With some of the suggestions listed above, you can still strive to be your best and be motivated without letting perfectionism and anxiety take over. Neither has to negatively influence your life. But you have to make sure you’re able to manage them the right way.