The Unhealthy Connection Between Perfectionism and Anxiety

While being a perfectionist can be a good thing, perfectionism can have negative impacts on one’s life. In fact, perfectionism can be directly linked to anxiety. On the surface perfectionism is basically one’s desire to be a perfect person. “Healthy” perfectionism can help motivate one to achieve goals, complete tasks, and giving full effort on everything. The downside of perfectionism outweighs the upside. If you have a loved one who exhibits perfectionism, it is important to educate yourself on the realm of perfectionism and its full impacts.

The Pitfalls of Perfectionism

The negative side of perfectionism can grow to impact one’s life from every angle. It can become all-consuming and overwhelming. The downsides of this trait include the following:

  • Setting standards that are extremely high and almost unachievable
  • Perfectionist often engage in critical self-evaluations
  • May scrutinize the performance of others
  • Excessive concern for what people think about them
  • Extreme fear of failure that causes excessive stress

The Link to Anxiety
Individuals who struggle with the negative consequences of perfectionism may have increased anxiety, dissatisfaction, difficulty coping with symptoms. However, with conscious effort, one may work to better manage anxious feelings that are increased by perfectionism. Here are some tips to get started:

    1. Say no to negative thinking. Perfectionism is often fueled by negative thoughts. Getting past these thoughts may mean seeking the assistance of a qualified professional or self-help techniques, such as writing exercises and positive thoughts. Quiet your negative thoughts about perfectionism can help you remain realistic about what you set out to accomplish.
    2. Try mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to increase self-awareness and relieve stress. Mindfulness can be helpful in teaching one healthy ways to let go of their stresses and become in tune with reality.
    3. Boost self-esteem. Perfectionism can negatively impact one’s self-esteem. Individual’s often gauge their self-worth by how perfectly they perform various tasks, resulting in a decreased self-esteem when these high expectations are not met. Instead of being self-critical, look for ways to boost one’s self-esteem, such as getting ​social support, practicing ​self-care, and assisting others in need.


Trails Carolina can help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program that helps teens ages 10-17 who are struggling with behavioral and emotional issues. This program uses adventure-based therapy to help students gain a new sense of self-awareness, confidence, and independence. The skills they learn throughout the wilderness program offer long-term benefits towards their ability to successfully self-navigate in the real world. By removing teens from their fast-paced environment into a safe, nurturing, and peaceful environment, they are able to focus on improving and reflecting upon their behavior. Trails Carolina gives students the tools they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-975-7303

Avatar of Jeremy Whitworth

Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.