“If I can’t do it perfectly, it’s not worth doing”
Having a perfectionist mindset is a quick way to torpedo your happiness and progress. “Many people overestimate the probability that they will not do well or assume a negative result which can lead you to avoid doing things altogether or not put forth your best effort,” says Flo Leighton, RN, certified mental health nurse practitioner and therapist with Union Square Practice. These are the clear signs you’re a perfectionist—and it’s ruining your life.
Reframe it: “Trying something new is always worthwhile even if I don’t get it exactly right.”
“My boss thinks my work sucks”
Everyone worries about their performance at work sometimes but trying to anticipate your boss’s reaction or put words in his or her mouth will just make you anxious and unnecessarily stressed out. Instead, look for real evidence of how you’re doing and focus on your strengths, Leighton says. Talk to your boss, read through your performance review, and get an outside opinion to help you look at your work realistically.
Reframe it: “My boss gives me constructive criticism on how to make my work the best it can be.”
“Everyone is doing better than me”
Call it the social media effect or simply human nature but it’s very common to look at others your age and think that they’re much further ahead in the game of life than you are, says Jo Eckler, Psy.D, licensed clinical psychologist and author of I Can’t Fix You Because You’re Not Broken. This can make you feel depressed and discouraged, leaving you wondering how you fell so far behind. To find real happiness, however, you’ve got to resist the urge to compare, she says.
Reframe it: “Social media isn’t reality and it isn’t fair to compare my worst to other people’s best.”