The Perfectionist’s Trap



The Cause of Perfectionism.

The seeds of shame and perfectionism lie in childhood and often accompany codependency.

Parents who are overcorrecting, controlling, abusive, punitive, or unpredictable can create insecurity and doubt in their children. Children imagine that if they perform flawlessly or are perfectly good, they will be accepted or that their parents won’t argue, that Mommy will be happy or Daddy won’t drink. Other parents encourage perfectionism by pressuring their children to perform, achieve unrealistic goals, or only approve of them based upon their performance. Even bright children, as well as perfectionist adults, quit or avoid learning new things to avoid feeling like a failure during the learning process when mistakes are unavoidable. Parents should empathize with their children’s sense of failure when they make mistakes.


Making Change.

As with any addiction, changing habits and compulsive behavior isn’t always so easy. But it’s entirely possible to have high standards and realistic goals without the compulsive, driven quality of perfectionism and without the destructive side effects, as well. My ebook “I’m Not Perfect – I’m Only Human” discusses different types of perfectionists, from positive perfectionists to narcissistic perfectionists, how their relationships are affected, and the common myths they hold. Other disorders, such as OCD are distinguished. Psychological, genetic, and environmental causes of perfectionism are explained with typical symptoms, thoughts, and behaviors. Ten chapters lay out the steps and detailed exercises to overcome perfectionism and achieve self-acceptance.

Take a personality test, and get parenting tips to avoid passing on perfectionism. 10 Steps to Self-Esteem: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism as well as my webinar, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem to provide simple steps to raise self-esteem and end self-criticism.

©Darlene Lancer, 2014, 2017

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Written by Darlene Lancer JD, MFT
Originally appeared on

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The Perfectionist's Trap