Zainab Bawa

@zainabbawa

What are your perfectionism rules- unhelpful thoughts that produce the perfectionism cycle.

Submitted Apr 28, 2021

Perfectionists have rules which they apply to their behaviour. Some of these rules are:

  1. Relentless high standards setting - always setting even more demanding standards.
  2. All or nothing thinking. You have to be 100% perfect.
  3. Fear of failure - I can’t do something until everything related to the task is perfect.
  4. Shoulds and musts - absolute demands.
  5. Constant checking - checking multiple times if a particular task has been done well or not. This is related to fear of failure or all-or-nothing behaviour.
  6. Lack of self-control - you keep checking yourself again and again.

Perfectionism is not an isolated event. It is accompanied by unhelpful thinking. Here are the factors that keep perfectionism going:

  1. High standards - these are achieved are great cost. This is also accompanied by setting the high standards and re-setting these standards. Nothing is good enough for a perfectionist.
  2. Self-criticism and unhelpful thinking styles.
  3. Perfectionism behaviours that reinforce #1 and #2.

This unhelpful thinking causes the perfectionism cycle. Mainly, you base your self-worth is based on achieving high, unrelentless standards. This produces shoulds and must thinking in oneself.

If you have questions about perfectionism, post them in comments on https://hasgeek.com/kilter/overcoming-perfectionism/comments

Tarique Sani’s slides on perfectionism are available on https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1yjjdkn0nSqDGG-thm-j_FC7Ev6njWfhMSiq9IU1HJiU/edit?usp=sharing

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