What is Perfectionism?

In my opinion, perfectionism isn't helpful or healthy for most people. However, sometimes people argue that perfectionism is striving for excellence. Striving for excellence is fantastic, but it's not what I mean when I write or talk about perfectionism.

I consulted Merriam-Webster Dictionary for an official definition. The dictionary defines perfectionism as "a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable". The word unacceptable is central to understanding perfectionism.

Perfectionism is not the...


Is it Fear of Failure or Fear of Success?

Should you take a chance or should you play it safe? Whether you want to ask someone on a date or run a marathon, there are both potential risks and rewards. Logically you know that if you don't try anything, you also don't gain anything. So, what's holding you back from achieving your goals and living your dreams? It may be fear of failure or fear of success or...


How to be More Assertive When You’re a People-Pleaser

Assertive communication is healthy communication. Communication problems arise when you're too passive (not speaking up for yourself) or too aggressive (yelling, criticizing, or other expressions that are disrespectful or hurtful to others). Neither passive nor aggressive communication gets your message across or your needs met.

If you're a people-pleaser, you probably tend toward being too passive and/or passive-aggressive. You have trouble saying "no." You're agreeable....


Goal Setting Tips for Perfectionists

The end of one year and the fresh start of a new one is the natural time for most of us to reflect and set new goals.

I prefer to think in terms of goals, which are action oriented, rather than resolutions. Resolving to eat more veggies or meditate more often isn't going to happen without a plan. Actionable goals create a framework for success. But I don't really care whether you call...


8 Simple Steps to Ending the Sunday Night Blues

Who's looking forward to going back to work tomorrow? Nobody! I was lucky enough to have the last two weeks off. I like my job, but even so, I'm not looking forward to heading back to the office.

People don't like Sundays. And they really, really don't like Sunday nights. Sunday night means the weekend is over. It's time to head back to work, school, appointments, schlepping the kids around,...


The 6 Most Popular Perfectionism Posts from Happily Imperfect

I started writing the Happily Imperfect blog for Psych Central in September of this year. It's been such a great experience and I want to thank all of you, my readers. I am so happy to share my passion for overcoming perfectionism!

My goal in writing Happily Imperfect is to share helpful information, pose thoughtful questions, and create a community of like-minded folks interested in personal growth.

The blog primarily focuses on:

understanding and overcoming...


How to Relax and Enjoy Some Down Time

A lot of Americans get time off from work during the holidays. If you're working customer service or in another industry where this is your busy season, maybe you can tuck these ideas away for when you do get a break.

However, time off doesn't automatically result in rest and relaxation for many perfectionists and Type A personalities.
It's hard for some people to relax. Does this sound like you?

routinely work long hours
rarely sit down...


6 Ways for Perfectionists to Have a Happily Imperfect Holiday

We all know that the holidays can be joyful, but also stressful. Perfectionists can get caught up in the to-do lists, the decisions, and the planning. We may overthink all the details from the party menu to buying the perfect gift for everyone on our list. As people-pleasers, we are focused on creating the perfect holiday for our loved ones. We have high expectations of ourselves and others....


How to Cope with Loneliness and Grief this Holiday Season

This holiday season many of us will experience loneliness and loss. We usually associate grief with death, but we grieve a lot of other losses as well.

Some of the reasons people feel alone during the holidays include:

a break-up or divorce
moved to a new community
estranged from or not talking to family
don't feel connected to or accepted by the people you are with
loved one is not...