I haven't analyzed any actual data on this, but it seems like perfectionism has become more prevalent lately- especially in young women.
There's this intense pressure to look perfect every day- great hair, great makeup, great shoes, great outfit. Beyond your everyday appearance, there's also this pressure (looking at you, Pinterest) to plan a stunning wedding, have a beautiful apartment, and yes... take the perfect picture of your latté art.
There's nothing wrong with looking nice or having nice things- the problem comes in when you start chasing after perfection.
It's a problem because what you're chasing after doesn't exist. Simply being a human makes you imperfect. And so, chasing after perfection ultimately ends in disappointment. And most of the time, it's disappointment in yourself... which can be a recipe for shame/anxiety/depression/self-loathing.
The perfect girlfriend/wife? She doesn't exist.
The perfect body? Doesn't exist either.
The perfect job? You won't find one.
Having it all together? Not actually a thing.
Here's what Brené Brown had to say about perfectionism on her blog:
Nobody has it all together. And when we put up a façade of perfection to the outside world, what we're really doing is trying to protect ourselves. We don't want to feel shame, so we try to mask it with perfectionism. But here's the problem:
In order to feel positive emotions, we must feel the not-so-positive emotions. This is a process, one that is incredibly important, even essential, to living your most authentic life.
Are you struggling with perfectionism? Wondering if seeing a counselor could help? Good news- counseling can help you work through your perfectionism (and perfectionism's close personal friends, anxiety, shame, and depression). Click on the button below to contact me for more information on Minneapolis counseling for anxiety, perfectionism, and depression.