The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Perfectionists: Lowering your standards can improve your mental health

By Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

19 Oct 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

A 'recovering perfectionist' examines why there is little upside to perfectionism, offering a healthy alternative in excellencism.

I am a recovering perfectionist.

No surprise there because the cards were stacked against me. As a firstborn, I was more likely to hold myself to punishingly high standards of flawlessness than my younger siblings. Then, I was drawn to detail-oriented and high-achieving careers - becoming a classical musician and later a psychologist and scientist. These professions are known for attracting perfectionistic types.

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