How to Stop Anxiety From Fueling Your Perfectionism

Anxiety Treatment

On the surface, perfectionism doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. After all, who doesn’t want to do their best or hold themselves to a high standard?

The problem with that line of thinking is that it doesn’t really encapsulate what perfectionism is.

It’s not just about doing your best or having high expectations for yourself. Rather, perfectionism is a personality style in which someone strives for flawlessness. It comes with a lot of self-criticism, doubts, and is often associated with mental health disorders like anxiety.

If you struggle with anxiety and consider yourself a perfectionist, your worries and fears could be adding fuel to the fire.

It’s important to understand how anxiety can bolster perfectionism in the worst possible ways. The sooner you recognize how your anxiety is impacting your drive, the sooner you can make positive, healthy changes.

Practice Mindfulness

One of the best ways to calm your anxiety and reduce the impact of your perfectionist thoughts is to be more mindful.

Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present. It allows you to focus on deep breathing and how your mind and body feel in your current surroundings. Thoughts will continue to come in, but you won’t hold on to them.

When anxiety is fueling your perfectionism, you might have a lot of “what ifs” flying through your brain. You’ll always be thinking ahead, setting unrealistic expectations, and worrying about what might happen if you don’t meet those expectations.

Mindfulness can help to combat that way of thinking and help to calm your anxious thoughts very quickly.

Set Realistic Goals

People with perfectionism often create unrealistic goals for themselves. Unfortunately, when you can’t reach those goals, it can send you spiraling into a more anxious state and encourage negative thoughts to creep in.

Instead of focusing on huge goals that are next to impossible to achieve, create smaller tasks for yourself.

Make a list each day of the small things you want to get done. They could be standalone goals or stepping stones that will help you achieve something larger.

Each time you accomplish a small goal, you can check it off your list and boost your self-esteem in the process. Your anxiety will lessen, and you won’t feel as much pressure to perform perfectly. You’ll even be more motivated to keep moving forward without craving flawlessness.

Focus On the Positive

Anxiety can make it easy to dwell on everything as negatively as possible. Its goal is to fuel your fear and keep you in a constant state of worry.

As a perfectionist, when you don’t perform as well as you think you should, it “affirms” those negative anxious thoughts, fueling your anxiety even more.

To fight back against that fear, spend more time focusing on the positives throughout your day. What did you accomplish? How did you go above and beyond? What did you get done that no one else could do? No matter how small, “distracting” yourself with positivity can completely change your mood and outlook.

By making a conscious effort to stay positive, you’ll weaken the effects of your negative thoughts, and your anxiety won’t feel as powerful. You’ll feel more in control, and you will be better able to handle those negative thoughts when they threaten to take over.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world. It can feel even worse for people dealing with perfectionism. But it doesn’t have to control you or make things worse. If you’re still struggling and want to get to the root cause of your anxiety, feel free to contact me today.

Begin working with an anxiety therapist in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and online in Arizona

If you are ready to learn how to stop anxiety from fueling perfectionism reach out for anxiety therapy at Crossroads Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Arizona Counseling Centers. Our Relationship Centers are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, Scottsdale and throughout all of Arizona with online counseling.  You can start your therapy journey by following these steps:

  1. Contact Crossroads Counseling for a complimentary 20-minute phone consult.
  2. Meet with a therapist for anxiety counseling.
  3. Grow in self-compassion.

Our offices are located throughout the valley with counseling centers located in Phoenix, Anthem, and Scottsdale. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email We offer a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation to answer your questions and better understand how we can help you.

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