Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is an innate, human, and normal response to a perceived threat. Anxiety is a necessary biological response we humans need to keep us safe. It can sometimes even motivate us. Normal levels of anxiety help us problem solve or manage a situation when something goes wrong. Other times, our anxiety misfires and perceives a threatening situation when there isn't one. Persistent, misfired anxiety tends to be future oriented (What if this happens? What if that happens? What will people think?) and feels as though you are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Perfectionism + Anxiety

When you set unrealistic and high standards for yourself or others, you run the risk of not meeting those expectations which can cause a great deal of anxiety. Perfectionists tend to set expectations of themselves and others and become greatly unsatisfied when expectations are not met. Often times it is someone's fear/discomfort with uncertainty, a desire to control, and a perceived threat that causes anxiety to occur. In order to deal with anxiety, a perfectionist will try to control by setting high and unrealistic expectations. The risk of such expectations puts oneself in danger of events not turning out according to plan which perpetuates a perfectionism trap.    

Perfectionism + Social Anxiety

The correlation between perfectionism and social anxiety is particularly high. Social anxiety is more than just shyness and can cause significant distress to one's daily functioning and relationships with others. A person with social anxiety has significant anxiety and discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, rejected or looked down on in social interactions. People dealing with social anxiety try to avoid the situation or endure it with great anxiety. Common examples are extreme fear of public speaking, meeting new people, or being assertive.

Someone with perfectionism and social anxiety may fear being humiliated or criticized by others and try to prevent being seen as less than by others. This level of anxiety and perfectionism may cause someone to overly watch, prepare, and rehearse what they are going to say to others and be preoccupied about making mistakes. As a result, someone with perfectionism will have very high expectations and constantly try to live up to unnecessary standards. Appearing put together on the outside and preoccupied with escaping criticism prevents us from fully being seen by others and risks real, authentic connection to ourselves and others.

As you coach, we will work together to find out what is driving your anxiety and perfectionism. I will help you make sense of your anxiety by helping you become intimately aware of how your mind works. Together we will practice concrete tools and strategies to help you manage your anxiety so you can finally embrace your feelings and stop letting anxiety and perfectionism rob you of happiness!