Perfectionism and self esteem

This article was written by M.Farouk Radwan The founder of a website that got 10,000,000 Visits so far

How perfectionism affects self confidence

There is a well known psychological theory called the expectations disappoints theory.
The theory states that the resultant mood a person experiences after an event is the difference between his expectations and the outcomes he got.

For example if a man expected to begin his life with 8000 Euro starting salary he might feel bad if he started with 7000 even though this is a very good starting salary.

Since a perfectionist expects everything to be perfect he faces disappointments all the time , these disappointments doesn’t only make him feel bad but they badly affect his self confidence and self esteem.

For perfectionists :

  • Each rejection makes them feel unloved
  • Each failure makes them feel incompetent
  • Each mistake makes lowers their self confidence
  • Each success that wasn’t 100% perfect makes them feel like losers

How perfectionism Affects self esteem

Because perfectionists expect to be treated in a perfect way everything that disappoints them affects their self esteem right away.

After all if a perfectionist believes that being perfect is an essential requirement for being worthy then he will feel worthless if he didn’t manage to be perfect.

Living in a such an imperfect life perfectionists keep losing their self esteem bit by bit until they feel completely worthless.

The other draw back of perfectionism is that it never makes the person feel satisfied after doing something even if he has done it well. After all self Esteem is all about trusting your abilities and skills but if each time you do something you never feel that it was good, how come can you feel confident?

That’s why perfectionists never feel confident even though the main reason they try to be perfect is to feel good about themselves,

Perfectionism and self esteem

There is no way a person can feel good about himself and have a high self esteem while he is a perfectionist.
If you believe that you are a perfectionist then in order to preserve your self esteem you must

1) Know that this is not a perfect world
2) Try to be the best but never feel bad if the outcomes weren't perfect
3) Set Realistic goals
4) Question your unrealistic standards and know were you have acquired them from

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