Session 189: What Perfectionism is And Why So Many in Private Practice Struggle With it.

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Have you ever been called a perfectionist? It’s admirable to have high standards and be highly motivated, but perfectionism is a trap that many clinicians fall into. In today’s show, we’ll talk about how perfectionism impacts us in private practice and as business owners.

Sharon Martin, LCSW, was a previous guest on the show, but that was WAY back in August 2015 (Episode 37), where she talked about blogging. Sharon revisits today to talk about her recent book, The CBT Workbook of Perfectionism. We’ll discuss how Sharon defines perfectionism and why so many in our field struggle with it. We’ll talk about some overt and covert ways that perfectionism shows up, and get Sharon’s tips and strategies for working through perfectionism and becoming more aware of it.

What We’ll Learn

  • The particular struggles with perfectionism for clinicians
  • Perfectionism: having unrealistically high standards that are unattainable
  • How we look at our mistakes and can’t see their benefits in terms of growth
  • Why perfectionists see their self-worth as being tied to their achievements
  • Perfectionism is often a fear-driven and anxiety-driven compulsion
  • Why so many clinicians and business owners struggle:
    • We feel like we have to excel at EVERY single thing
    • We are super-sensitive to criticism and rejection
    • We are stuck in our rigidity and high standards for our business
  • The antidotes to the traps of perfectionism: civility, self-compassion, flexibility, and compromise
  • How control takes us to perfectionism as business owners
  • Overt ways that perfectionism shows up: rewriting blog posts and being rigid and demanding
  • Covert ways that perfectionism shows up: having difficulty delegating and accepting help and “playing it safe” with new things
  • How clinicians go into business without any business training, and why we assume we can “figure it out”
  • Why having fun and offering grace are important in building a business
  • Why people relate better to you when you’re authentic, and NOT perfect
  • The fear in giving up perfectionism—-that you’ll swing too far in the other direction
  • Sharon’s top three tips to working through perfectionism:
    • Have self-compassion
    • Realize that “done” is better than perfect
    • Ask for help and learn to delegate
  • How the daily habit of journaling can help you work through perfectionism

Resources Mentioned

Live Well With Sharon Martin

The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism by Sharon Martin

Therapy Notes   Use promo code “Melvin” for your first two months free!

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