Perfectionism Podcast Episodes

Part 1

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 Do your best and leave the rest” is a tricky balance for the perfectionist. Yet it sums up a measure of health for those who have high, exacting standards for themselves or others. In this episode of Breaking Bread, Ted Witzig Jr. teaches us about two types of perfectionism. 

Part 2

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Perfectionism has a strange advantage among those it afflicts. A need for perfect. Wonderfully there is a perfect answer. Christ came to be our perfection. In this episode of Breaking Bread, Ted Witzig Jr. helps us understand socially prescribed perfectionism and the answer Jesus is to the perfection we long for.

Show notes

We love perfectionists. Who wouldn’t want a perfectionist as their builder, accountant, or surgeon? Perfectionists hold high standards and are successful and acclaimed because they do. This is precisely why perfectionism is tricky…strengths can become weaknesses.

Three types of perfectionism:

  • Self-oriented perfectionism
    • Definition: A person with very high, exacting standards for themselves.
    • Unhealthy Measure: Specific performance.
    • Unhealthy Mindset: It needs to be perfect, or I’ve failed. There is no “good enough” in their thinking.
    • Unhealthy Result: Harsh self-criticism & low self-compassion leading to discouragement & depression.
    • Remedy: They need to rethink success and reward the right thing. Was it adequate?
    • Healthy Measure: Wholistic performance over time.
    • Healthy Mindset: They need to understand that they are ‘in progress.’ Growth over time is the measure. Effort is more important than outcome.
  • Other-oriented perfectionism
    • Definition: A person who holds others to very high, exacting standards.
    • Unhealthy Measure: Other people’s performance.
    • Unhealthy Mindset: The belief that they are a guardian of a standard and fear the standard will be dropped.
    • Unhealthy Result: Demanding and controlling towards others. A critical spirit creates distance and resentment between them and for those who they project their very high expectations.
    • Remedy: Don’t be a voice of fear and discouragement to the next “generation”. Rather, teach and empower them.
    • Healthy Measure: Measure the human cost of seeking perfection. Sometimes we can get it wrong by trying to get it right.
    • Healthy Mindset: Trust God. Trust others.
  • Socially-prescribed perfectionism
    • Definition: A person who reacts to their perceived beliefs about what other people expect of them.
    • Unhealthy Measure: Trying to guess other people’s perceptions.
    • Unhealthy Mindset: Getting into someone else’s head. “I think, they think…”
    • Unhealthy Result: Insecurity, people pleasing and fabricated offenses that rob otherwise healthy moments.
    • Remedy: Practice getting out of other people’s heads.
    • Healthy Measure: What am I assuming is true and what do I know to be true?
    • Healthy Mindset: I can’t please everyone.

Listen on Spotify   –   Listen on Apple Podcast

Further Information

Three Types of Perfectionism
In this article, three common types of perfectionism are described along with helpful tips for addressing each. [ACCFS]

Overcoming Perfectionism
This article links to a resource from AnxietyBC™ that provides you with further steps in overcoming perfectionism.

Our Negative Thinking Versus God’s Promises To Us
This brief document gives a scriptural response to negative thinking by focusing on the promises found in the Bible. [ACCFS]

True Guilt/False Guilt   True Guilt/False Guilt Graphic
This document highlights the differences between true guilt and false guilt. True guilt leads to recognition of our need for Jesus and the reality that His work on the cross is sufficient. True guilt leads to pursuing Jesus and therein finding hope. On the other hand false guilt leads to an endless cycle of shame, hopelessness, and despair. [ACCFS]

Truth Talk  & Truth Talk Audio
Truth Talk is a positive thoughts generator based on Scripture that is designed to help people learn and use godly, healthy self-talk as they face their challenges. [ACCFS]

Learning to Tell Myself the Truth
Author: William Backus, Ph.D.
This 220-page workbook helps readers to understand their negative self-talk and learn to use scriptural truths to think in a healthier, Christ-like manner. It includes specific chapters on dealing with depression, anxiety, anger, and perfectionism. It is an excellent book that the ACCFS counselors frequently recommend to others.


What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: The Real Deal on Perfectionism
Author: Thomas S. Greenspon, Ph.D.
This 137-page book can help parents and children alike in managing the pros and cons of perfectionism. Designed for children around the ages of 9-14 to be able to read themselves, this book can also be an effective parent user manual by helping parents know how to understand and appropriately guide their perfectionist-type child.