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September 2008


Stress Management: Are you the Perfectionist?

Gratefully adapted with permission from Michael Bryant, President of Career Transition Services who can be reached at (410) 444-5857.

We experience stress from a variety of sources.  We bring some of that stress upon ourselves by our own behaviors.  Lets examine one way we experience stress: Perfectionism.

The Behaviors:

  • I expect myself to do a good job in nearly everything I attempt.
  • I get upset with myself if I fail at a task - even if I'm new at the task.
  • When I do a good job I give myself no credit, reasoning that I was only doing what I was supposed to do.
  • I avoid the new or unfamiliar.
  • I often lose my patience if others don't "catch on" quickly.
  • I will often do a task myself rather than give it to others to insure it is done "right."
  • I have a reputation for being hard to please.
  • I often believe my way is better.
  • I am overly critical of others and myself.
  • I secretly believe other people don't set high enough standards for themselves.

The Problems:

  • You have never been perfect.
  • No one you know has ever been perfect.
  • By your own admission, you are attempting to behave in a way for which you have no model.
  • Because the thought of making mistakes is so distasteful, it is unlikely that you will take many risks.  Since growth is only possible when we are able to risk, your development as a person could be affected.
  • Because of your standards, you might often feel alone, isolated and out of control.
  • It will be very difficult to feel a true sense of accomplishment.
  • People will tend to shy away from you.

Some Solutions:

  • Get off your back.
  • Get out of your way.
  • At the end of the day focus on three positive accomplishments.
  • Use the drive home to focus on successes.  This is known as “driving home with a friend.” 
  • Learn to view mistakes as an inevitable by-product of growing.  Use your mistakes to discover ways to improve.
  • Learn the value of doing things “good enough.”
  • Focus on what you have not on what is missing from your life.

Michael Bryant - Corporate Trainer

Has twenty years experience facilitating organizational change by teaching how to improve communication, share accurate information, and involve others in decisions.  He can be reached by phone at (410) 444-5857 or by e-mail at mb3126@gmail.com




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