A Perfectionist’s Guide to Not Being Perfect

It’s hard for teens to be happy when they’ve created a very narrow window of what defines success. The goal of this helpful book is to encourage teens to maintain their desire to achieve without striving to always be perfect and to appreciate and love who they are just as they are, not for what they do or accomplish. Finding a balance between work and play is key. Challenging perfectionism is about the pursuit of happiness. When teens can recognize that perfectionism is a disadvantage, they can become motivated to do something about it. For many, it may just be shifting the perfectionism a bit to land in a more positive place. It might be about deciding when and where to be slightly perfectionistic, when and where they can let go of high standards and all-or-nothing thinking, and when it’s okay to simply do a “good enough” job on something. Topics covered include: What is Perfectionism & Why Change it? Treating Perfectionism with Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Mastering Self-Care: Relaxation & Meditation Challenging Perfectionistic Thinking: The Path to Freedom Part 1 Decision-Making, Flexibility, & Comfort Zones Challenging Perfectionistic Behavior: The Path to Freedom, Part 2 Picture Perfect: Social Media & Body Image Making Mistakes, Failing & Life Lessons Stress Management & Balanced Living The book also includes resources, additional reading for teens, additional reading for Parents, apps, references, and a comprehensive index Symptoms of Perfectionism: Refusal to accept anything less than perfectHolding yourself to impossible-to-meet high standardsBelieving that your worth is measured by your achievements or gradesBeing hyper-focused on gradesNeeding to get straight-As or be the best at your sport/chosen activitySpending excessive amounts of time on projects or schoolwork because you have to make it perfectChecking work over and over againNeeding extensions to hand in assignments or papersBeing preoccupied with rules and listsBeing rigid and inflexible (for example, if plans change)Difficulty asking for helpDifficulty delegating tasks to othersDifficulty making decisionsProcrastinationBeing unable to handle making a mistakeFeeling guilty for making a mistake or perceived failuresBeing self-critical and harsh with yourself if your performance falls short of perfectConstantly comparing yourself to othersOnly being happy when you win or come in firstBeing unable to accept feedback or constructive criticismSpending hours on your appearanceRefusing to leave the house unless you look your bestHyper-focusing on parts of your body that you are not happy withHaving negative body-image because your body is not perfect like a male or female model’s bodyRestricted eating (either due to wanting to stay within a certain calorie range or only eating 100% clean foods)Waking up very early at the same time every day to exercise for 2 hoursExpecting others to do things to your standardsRegularly feeling disappointed in othersExpecting that others won’t make mistakesHoldings others to high/unattainable standards (for example, that others should do things in the way you would)Being unwilling to delegate tasks to othersBeing critical of othersNot being happy for others when they do wellTrouble sharing your thoughts or feelingsDifficulty relaxing and letting goInability to be spontaneous Impact of Perfectionism: StressLow self-esteem/ self-worthLow self-confidence/ not believing in yourselfSelf-doubtSelf-criticismSelf-deprecationFeeling lots of pressureFeeling like a failureFeeling guiltFeeling a sense of shameInability to celebrate your achievementsNegative impact on relationships with parents, teachers, friendsOthers perceiving you as judgmental or “hard” on themTrouble being close to others because you are overly judgmentalLimited problem-solving skills resulting from inflexible thinkingLimited creativity (often resulting from appealing to someone else’s ideals)Missing out on enjoyable, fun experiencesMissing out on being socialPhysical problems such as GI issues and headachesExhaustion or fatigueAnxietyDepressionBody image disturbanceEating disorders