Q: As a probable perfectionist I have a problem with your self help: Your examples for relief and satisfaction do not give me either – why is that? E.G. urinating: satisfies a physical need but once done is just out of the way – no sense of achievement I suppose. So I did not find an answer to my constant search to achieve more. You seemed to ignore complex layers of Perfectionism.

A: First of all, “guilty as charged.” Perfectionism is more complex than anything I could write in a few words. So are depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and everything else at my site.

Secondly, however, I do think you missed the point. Relief is a Physical Sensation.

You want relief from your perfectionism, I assume, or you wouldn’t be reading about it. But I bet you are defining relief as “freedom from my thoughts about constantly needing to achieve more”… and I’m wanting you to realize that you actually have relief already (physically, as with urination) – and that if you believe you will some day get relief by constantly achieving more, more, more – you will have to face that this goal is unachievable.

Think of all the people who have achieved less than you have. How do you feel about the fact that most of them don’t have all the anxiety you probably have on a daily basis? Are you jealous of them? If so, notice Physical relief… and be glad for it.

There is no relief from perfectionism if you keep believing that you can’t stop picking on yourself unless you get “more” – because there will always be “more” to achieve. It’s the belief that you need to achieve more that is the problem.

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