Perfectionism, procrastination & anxiety - is there a link?

Oct 20, 2023
Anxious girl avoiding her schoolwork

 

As a child therapist, one of the recurring themes I encounter in my work is the intricate connection between perfectionism, procrastination and anxiety in children.

 

It's a delicate dance, and understanding the interplay between them is so important if we are going to help children who struggle with any - or all - of these issues. 

 

Perfectionism: The Pursuit of the Ideal

Perfectionism, while often seen as a noble trait, can be a double-edged sword for children. It's a desire to excel, to meet high standards, and to achieve their best. However, when taken to the extreme, it can become paralyzing. The pressure to be perfect in every endeavor can lead to self-doubt, fear of failure, and a relentless pursuit of flawlessness.

 

Procrastination: The Avoidance Tactic

To escape the overwhelming demands of perfectionism, children may turn to procrastination. Delaying tasks and assignments provides temporary relief from the pressure to excel.  It's like a safety net, a way to avoid the perceived shame of not meeting their own high standards.

 

Anxiety: The Unwanted Companion

As the pursuit of perfection meets procrastination, anxiety often steps in as an unwanted companion. The fear of not meeting their own expectations or those of others can result in heightened anxiety levels. 

And sometimes, an underlying anxiety can be driving perfectionism and procrastination in the first place. 

 

So what can we do?

 

In this week's video I share some ideas to help your child navigate this trio. You can watch by clicking the below

Warmest wishes 

Frances x

P.S. Doors to 'From Fearful to Fearless' will be opening very soon!

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