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  • Writer's pictureJim Ciraky

CBT for Overcoming Perfectionism and Setting Realistic Goals


Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used by psychology therapists for a very long time and it has changed the lives of patients considerably. If you think that you are a perfectionist and it affects every day of your life by creating anxiety, sadness, and low self-esteem, then it might be time to get some help. It is extremely important to be able to set realistic goals so that you don't get affected by emotions of failure and dissatisfaction. This is where CBT can help you. It can help you in setting realistic goals that you can achieve and are flexible. Let's help you understand how CBT can make your life easy by helping you overcome perfectionism.

1. Identifying Your Negative Thoughts

The first step in CBT is to figure out the negative thoughts that are hijacking your mind. When you are a perfectionist, you might be following a set of thinking patterns that are impacting you negatively. These thinking habits are mentioned below:

All or nothing Thinking -

All-or-nothing thinking is the tendency to see things as either completely successful or completely unsuccessful, and you leave no room for any compromise or middle ground.

Overgeneralization -

When you make false generalizations based on a single bad event or experience, it is known as overgeneralization.

Personalization -

It involves taking responsibility for situations that are not really within your power to control.

2. Reframing Your Thoughts

Once you know the thinking patterns you have been following, you will move forward in the therapy and learn how to reframe those thoughts. This would be done by answering questions like: "Is this thought based on fact or on my own assumptions?” "What evidence do I have to support this thought?" When you challenge these thoughts and ask yourself these questions you start looking for evidence and then start developing more realistic and balanced thinking.

3. Setting Realistic Goals

To overcome perfectionism, you need to start selling realistic goals and takes skills. To develop this skill, you will be asked to break down your bigger goals into smaller workable goals. You will also be asked to set deadlines and focus on progress rather than perfection in the task. This way you will slowly be able to develop the skill of setting realistic and achievable goals.

4. Developing Coping Mechanism

Developing coping strategies is also a part of cognitive behavioral therapy that will help you in coping with the failures and setbacks that you might face. As you learn how to be aware of your negative thoughts and challenge them, you also learn how to feel self-compassion and plan a correct path to move forward. All these things help you in coping with your anxiety and stress.

If you are suffering from any of the negative thought patterns we have mentioned above, and you can feel it affecting your life adversely, then it is time to take some actions to bring positive change in your life. You do not have to keep suffering from it when there are ways to solve the problem.


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