Therapy for Perfectionism

Online therapy in Bellevue and throughout Washington

Make room for genuine joy and self-acceptance to flourish.

Am I a perfectionist?

Maybe you're noticing:

  • You avoid doing things that may cause you to “fail”
  • You view mistakes as proof you are inadequate
  • Nothing you do feels good enough
  • You have difficulty celebrating your successes
  • You’re exhausted by the all-consuming quest for perfection
  • You live by never-ending to-do lists
  • You do everything you can to avoid asking for help


Understanding Perfectionism: Unraveling the struggle of unrealistic standards

Does every day feel like a constant battle between your desire for excellence and the fear of falling short? The pursuit of perfection often starts with good intentions—you want to do your best, achieve excellence, and produce outstanding results.

However, this drive can quickly turn into an overwhelming burden, as nothing ever seems good enough. Even the smallest tasks can become sources of stress and anxiety because you fear making mistakes or being judged for being anything less than perfect.

The fear of failure is a constant companion. The pressure to be perfect can be isolating. You dread the thought of disappointing others, or even worse, yourself. There’s a persistent voice in your head, constantly critiquing and scrutinizing your actions, telling you that you could have done better or that you’re not living up to your potential.

Instead of basking in the joy of achievement, your focus shifts to the flaws or mistakes you made along the way. The pursuit of perfection is exhausting and emotionally draining, leaving you feeling anxious, stressed, and dissatisfied, even in the face of notable achievements.

RECLAIMING FREEDOM: WHAT IT CAN FEEL LIKE TO LIVE WITHOUT PERFECTIONISM

You wake up with a sense of calm, free from the racing thoughts that used to fill your mind the moment you opened your eyes.

The idea of making a mistake no longer sends shivers down your spine. You’ve come to realize that perfection is an unattainable goal, and that’s okay. The weight of unrealistic expectations has lifted, and you can savor the small victories without constantly aiming for an unreachable pinnacle. You embrace the imperfections in yourself and in the world around you and you’ve learned to find beauty in the unexpected twists and turns of life.

The constant barrage of “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios have been replaced by a more balanced perspective. You’ve developed the ability to assess situations rationally and without magnifying every potential negative outcome. You find joy in the process rather than being solely focused on the end result. You view each task as an opportunity to learn, grow, and enjoy the journey. The mental space that used to be filled with worry is now open to curiosity and creative thinking.

The relentless need for approval and validation from others has lost its grip on you. You’ve found the courage to stand firm in your beliefs and decisions, without being consumed by the opinions of others. The fear of saying the wrong thing or not being good enough no longer looms over you. You’ve learned to embrace vulnerability and authenticity, allowing you to connect with others on a deeper level.


Reclaiming Freedom:
What it can
feel like to
live without perfectionism

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by the relentless pursuit of flawlessness and an unrelenting desire for achievement. While it can be a driving force for success, it often comes at a cost, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Perfectionism is a complex and powerful adversary that, if left unchecked, can severely impact one’s mental health. 

Types of perfectionism

Perfectionism can manifest in different ways. Self-oriented perfectionism involves setting exceedingly high standards for oneself and being driven by a strong inner critic. Other-oriented perfectionism manifests as imposing perfectionist standards on others, such as family members, friends, or colleagues. Socially prescribed perfectionism presents as high levels of self-criticism, the pressure to excel, and fear of rejection by others resulting from one’s perception of external standards (sources such as family, workplace, friends, or society).

Symptoms of perfectionism

  • All or nothing thinking/thinking in extremes (“I’m a success or a failure”)
  • Feeling as though you are being pushed by fear–particularly fear of failure
  • Focusing only on results or outcomes
  • Having unrealistic standards or goals
  • Being highly critical
  • Fixating on mistakes and imperfections 
  • Feeling upset/down by unmet goals
  • Procrastination
  • Desire to control and manage relationships
  • Neglecting needs to please others
  • Inability to relax
  • Defensiveness
  • Low self-esteem

Is perfectionism therapy right for me?

Perfectionism treatment can help you gain an understanding of perfectionism, its manifestations, and its profound effects on your mental well-being, allowing you to develop increased self-awareness, challenge self-defeating beliefs, and embark on a journey towards self-acceptance and personal growth. Letting go of perfectionism does not mean compromising your drive; it means freeing yourself from the constant burden of unrealistic expectations, allowing you to embrace your true self and find the courage to express your authentic voice.

Therapy for Perfectionism can help you:

  • Learn to embrace your imperfections and take pride in your worth beyond your accomplishments
  • Reframe what it means to “fail”
  • Set more reasonable goals and expectations
  • Reduce the constant self-imposed pressure
  • Cultivate self-compassion
  • Let go of what you cannot control
  • Challenge the belief that perfection is the only path to success and happiness
  • Explore your passions and values to align your goals with what genuinely brings you joy and fulfillment

Specialty populations I serve

Young Adults

Millennials

The pursuit of perfection is a path paved with impossible expectations, but the journey towards self-acceptance and personal growth is where you'll find the true beauty of imperfection.

The pursuit of perfection is a path paved with impossible expectations, but the journey towards self-acceptance and personal growth is where you'll find the true beauty of imperfection.

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