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Self-Coaching Minute: Perfectionism


Perfectionism is a series of behaviours we put in place to cope and reassure ourselves in stressful situations. It is learned from childhood based on the core belief “I am only OK if I get everything right”.

It leads to rules and beliefs that can result in unhelpful behaviour (such as procrastinating, avoidance, failure to delegate, critical of other, checking…) and negative thought patterns (self-judgement) dependent on the pursuit of unrelenting standards.


Your Self-Coaching Questions

How might being a perfectionist be helpful to you?

How might being a perfectionist be unhelpful to you?

In which areas of your life perfectionism does not serve you?

What situations tend to trigger your perfectionism?

Choose one life area/situation where your perfectionism does not serve you:

How does your perfectionist behaviour manifest?

What negative self-talk patterns arise?

What do you do/don’t do? (behaviour)

What do you believe when you manifest this perfectionist behaviour (should and musts, ‘rule’ to follow)?

What are the negative consequences of this belief / rule ?

Where does this belief / rule come from?

In what way is this belief / rule unrealistic?

What is an alternative and more helpful belief / rule here?

How will you embed this more helpful belief / rule into your life?

*** Inspired by Fursland  et al. (2009). Perfectionism in Perspective. Perth, Western Australia: Centre for Clinical Interventions. ***

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The Self-Coaching Minute proposes questions and prompts to help you explore what is happening within you and in your life. Practice the Self-Coaching Minute to become more aware, to identify your thought and behaviour patterns, to understand what you need and what needs to change and to take action. Perfect for journaling or for your weekly reflective practice!