Did you know?

Every year, the first year class at the University of Michigan is full of students from around the state, country and world who have achieved some of the highest grades, standardized test scores, and awards available.

Without a doubt, U-M campuses are full of bright students, academic pressures, and high expectations for success. However, contrary to popular belief, perfection is not required to succeed.

  • Do you feel like what you accomplish is never quite good enough, that you “could have done better?”
  • Do you find yourself completing your papers or projects at the last minute, waiting to make them just right?
  • Do you feel you must give more than 100% on everything you do or else you will be mediocre or even a failure in comparison to others?

If so, rather than simply working toward success, you may be trying to be perfect, and there exists quite a difference between aiming for a successful life and trying to achieve perfection.

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is a “set of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors aimed at reaching excessively high unrealistic goals.”

For many who fall prey to certain perfectionistic behaviors succeeding means setting excessively high personal standards; a chronic concern over mistakes; a need for, and pursuit of, organization; and frequent doubts about one’s actions (Greenspon, 2008).

Perfectionists believe that mistakes must never be made and the highest level of performance must always be achieved. It is important for students to understand the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism 

  • Healthy strivers are able to experience genuine pleasure in trying to meet their high standards.
  • Perfectionists are full of self doubts, fear of disapproval, and ridicule and rejection.

Find out more about Perfectionistic Thinking and Behavior HERE

Find out more about Consequences of Perfectionism HERE

Find out more about Coping With Perfectionism HERE