A Perfectionism Rabbit Hole

At the core of High Functioning Anxiety is shame. Somewhere we learned that we are broken and unworthy. That unworthiness causes us to feel anxiety, fear, doubt, etc. We also learned that we received praise when we were productive and accomplished, which eased those feelings of being unworthy and all the anxiety and fear. As a result, we learned many unhealthy coping skills all geared toward making us more productive and accomplished: perfectionism, people-pleasing, overworking, all-or-nothing thinking, and constantly criticizing ourselves.

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