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Managing the perils of perfectionism

In a world that often glorifies what is seen as flawless, the relentless pursuit of perfect can lead to a negative impact on mental and emotional well-being.

Perfectionism, characterised by impossibly high standards and an intense fear of failure, can create a cycle of anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction. This extends beyond a healthy desire for excellence, which is normal and useful for most people. Perfectionism however involves a compulsive need for flawless performance and an persistent fear of falling short. Those dealing with perfectionism often set unattainable standards for themselves, leading to chronic stress and a perpetual sense of inadequacy.

The impact of perfectionism

  • Anxiety and Stress: Perfectionists often live in a constant state of anxiety, fearing the consequences of not meeting their own lofty standards. This chronic stress can have a profound impact on mental and physical well-being.

  • Procrastination: Paradoxically, the pursuit of perfection often results in procrastination. The fear of failure and the pressure to meet unrealistic standards can be paralyzing, preventing individuals from taking action or completing tasks.

  • Impaired Relationships: Perfectionists may project their high standards onto others, straining relationships as a result. Unreasonable expectations and a lack of understanding can lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining meaningful connections.

  • Low Self-Esteem: Despite external achievements, perfectionists often grapple with feelings of inadequacy. The constant pursuit of perfection creates a distorted self-image, making it challenging for individuals to appreciate their accomplishments.

Hypnotherapy can help. Accessing and working with the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help to reframe negative thought patterns, fostering self-compassion and promoting a healthier perspective on one's abilities and achievements.

  • Identifying Root Causes: Perfectionism often has deep-seated roots in early experiences or societal pressures. Hypnotherapy allows individuals to explore their subconscious and identify the origins of perfectionist tendencies, providing valuable insights into their behavior.

  • Reframing Negative Beliefs: Through hypnosis, individuals enter a heightened state of suggestibility, enabling therapists to challenge and reframe negative beliefs about perfection. This process encourages the development of more positive and realistic affirmations, promoting self-acceptance.

  • Stress Reduction: Hypnotherapy induces a state of deep relaxation, helping individuals manage stress effectively. By addressing the root causes of perfectionism and promoting relaxation, hypnotherapy can significantly reduce anxiety levels.

  • Building Resilience: Hypnotherapy empowers individuals to build resilience and develop coping mechanisms when faced with challenges. Rather than succumbing to the fear of failure, clients learn to navigate setbacks with a more balanced and constructive mindset.

  • Promoting Self-Compassion: One of the key objectives of hypnotherapy is to encourage and maintain self-compassion. Instilling a sense of kindness and understanding toward oneself means individuals can break free from the shackles of perfectionism and embrace their inherent worthiness.


A Japanese legend tells the story of a mighty warrior who broke his favourite tea bowl and sent it away to be repaired. When he received it back, the bowl was held together by unsightly metal staples. It was still usable but the warrior was disappointed. Hoping to restore his bowl to its pervious glory, he asked a craftsman to find a more elegant solution. The craftsman decided to try a new technique to add to the beauty of the bowl as well as repair it. He mended every crack in the bowl with a lacquer resin mixed with gold.

When the tea bowl was returned to the warrior, there were now streaks of gold running through it, telling its story, and—the warrior thought—adding to its value and beauty.

This repair method became known as kintsugi, which roughly translates to “golden joinery”. It is the Japanese philosophy that the value of an object is not in its beauty, but in its imperfections, and that these imperfections are something to celebrate, not hide.

A Kintsugi bowl


Perfectionism, though often praised, can lead to detrimental effects on mental health and overall well-being. Hypnotherapy scan help you break free from the chains of perfectionism by addressing its root causes, fostering a healthier mindset and focussing on solutions. Through guided relaxation and targeted suggestions, you can embark on a journey of self-discovery, resilience-building, and, ultimately, self-compassion.

Embracing imperfection becomes not only possible but a liberating path to a more fulfilling and balanced life.


Get in touch to learn more about hypnotherapy and how it can help you with with perfectionism.

Malcolm Struthers Hypnotherapy - Dumfries & Galloway and online


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