A never-ending spiral stair case looked at by someone in need of anxiety counseling for perfectionism by Empower Counseling in Birmingham Alabama

Anxiety therapy for Perfectionism with Empower Counseling Part II: 10 dangers of perfectionism in business.

What does perfectionism cost us in our careers? 

You might need anxiety Therapy for perfectionism with Empower Counseling if you suffer from self-oriented, socially prescribed, or other-oriented perfectionism. 

Self-oriented perfectionism includes:

  1. Strong motivation to be perfect
  2. Setting and holding unrealistic standards
  3. Compulsive strivings
  4. All or nothing thinking- total success or total failure
  5. Focus on flaws or past failures
  6. Narrow def. of success, broad defin. Of failure
  7. Evaluation of one’s performance leads to self-criticism and may lead to self-punishment
  8. Perception of failure as characteristic of one’s entire self

Socially prescribed:

  1. Belief that other’s have unrealistic standards for us and that they will exert pressure on us to be perfect.

2. Associated with elevated levels of negative affect, chronic anger, avoidance coping styles, and low levels confidence in ability to problem solve

3. Great importance in gaining approval of others.


  1. We have Unrealistic expectations of others.

Perfectionism does not just affect our ability to find enjoyment in our personal lives. Perfectionism can cost us so much in our careers.

We do not check our issues at the door when we walk into work in the mornings. If you are a perfectionist, you might see anything other than perfect as a complete failure, which results in playing it safe, staying in your comfort zone. As a result, perfectionism crushes risk taking, creativity, and ambition. 

As long as you are stuck as a perfectionist, perfectionism will:

Limit you in business.

Affect your confidence and self-esteem.

Negatively impact your relationships.

Perfectionists often see themselves as failures or avoid taking any risk whatsoever to avoid see themselves as failures.

If this is the case for you, you will not know your true worth and will see yourself short in business. 

Empower Counseling can help you avoid these 10 Dangers of perfectionism in business:

  1. Not charging enough for your time and services. 

If you think you are a failure because you are less than perfect, you will have a distorted view of what your time and services are worth to others. This distorted view leads to you not understanding or charging what you and your expertise is worth.

  1. Spending unnecessary time worrying about insignificant details.

I call this majoring in the minors. If every little detail has to be perfect, you will miss the forrest for the trees. You will spend too much time on things that don’t matter and not leave yourself enough time for the things that matter most.

  1. Second guessing yourself after each decision.

If every decision is either right or wrong, you will go back over decisions over and over again in your head wondering if you chose properly. This is exhausting and unhelpful.

  1. Always feel like you need to do at least one more thing…leading to burnout.

Perfectionists are often drive by the thought, “I am not enough”. Therefore, they are constantly trying to prove to themselves and others that they are enough. This leads to always needing to be productive, and never being able to truly relax. This my friend, leads to burn out.

  1. Holding yourself to impossible standards.

We are human and definitely not perfect. If you hold yourself to impossible standards, you will certainly fall short, feeling like a failure.

  1. Comparing yourself to others and thinking you do not measure up.

Have you ever noticed we never compare ourselves to anyone who is worse off than we think we are? Comparing yourself to what you see in others, leaves out what you don’t see…..which is a lot. It is natural for us to compare ourselves to others but most of the time it is unhelpful.

  1. Ruminating over mistakes.

Most perfectionists have a great deal of trouble letting go of mistakes and forgiving themselves for ever making a mistake.

  1. Holding others to unattainable standards. 

What happens when you hold others to a standard of perfection? Disappointment after disappointment.

9.   All work and no play.

Perfectionism leads us to be workaholics. Once again that “not enough” drives us to always think we must do more.

10.   Dissatisfaction with your job and your life.

Perfectionism shows up the most in our professional lives, which can lead to us being off balance and ignoring the other parts of our lives that greatly contribute to happiness-like our relationships.

If you think you need anxiety therapy for perfectionism, reach out to Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama at 205-730-6570. Kathryn is advanced trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy and a recovering perfectionist. 

Empower Counseling, a Birmingham area counseling clinic serving Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Hoover and other surrounding areas, offers counseling for depression for teens, college students, young adults, and professionals.

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