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Hypnotherapy for perfectionism and imposter syndrome

Being a perfectionist can seem like a positive trait; something we should aspire to perhaps? After all it’s the opposite of being slap-dash; unconcerned about the detail or outcome, isn’t it? But if we look a little deeper, a perfectionist is often driven by low self-esteem; a need for approval or acceptance.

If you pursue perfection, you are likely to try especially hard at everything you do. You will hold yourself to high standards and strive for the best possible outcome. You will probably work very hard to make sure that you get good results and your efforts will most likely reflect this effort. If you are pleased with your results, that’s great. However, if you are self-critical, or feel that any praise you receive is unjustified, then the reasons for this may need to be explored. You may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is usually experienced by high achievers who are often perfectionists too. They will usually feel they don’t deserve the success they have achieved or are less talented or clever than others. They will have a fear of being exposed or discovered as a fraud.

If this sounds familiar to you, you’ll be aware of how stressful it can be. The need to strive and to do your very best can’t be ignored, but the results of your work can’t be enjoyed as they (and you) are never good enough. The outcome of operating under this (self-imposed) pressure is likely to impact negatively on your general enjoyment of life.

Sadly, a common response to these anxious feelings is to try even harder to do even better, but this simply causes more stress and eats up more of your time, energy and thoughts. If you’d like help to let go of these unhelpful patterns and negative self-beliefs, you can seek the help of a professional hypnotherapist. Through therapy you can address the underlying issues that drive your behaviour and enjoy a more relaxed and happier life.

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Written by Lorraine McReight D. Hyp, FAPHP, MNCH (acc)

Lorraine McReight is an award-winning hypnotherapist with a therapy centre in Wimbledon. She is principal of London Hypnotherapy Academy & editor of the professional journal, Hypnoversity. She's also development director of the NCH (National Council for Hypnotherapy) & is a fellow of the APHP (Association for Professional Hypnosis & Psychotherapy).… Read more

Written by Lorraine McReight D. Hyp, FAPHP, MNCH (acc)

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