Our society puts too much pressure on us to live up to the image of perfection. Whether it is the way we look, the things we own, or who people believe us to be, many feel if they aren't perfect then there is something wrong with them. Perfectionism is an issue we are seeing daily at Imagine Hope- even with young children! The internal stress and pressure that comes from striving for perfection often makes people crumble. They set high unachievable standards only to experience a negative plummet in their self-perception. Perfectionism has many defintions:

* Perfectionism is the "tyranny of the 'shoulds.'"

* "The practice of demanding of oneself or others a higher quality of performance than is required by a situation" (Hollender, 1978).

* "People with perfectionism are described as setting unrealistically high standards, rigidly adhering to them, and defining their self worth in terms of their achieving these standards" (Burns, 1980).

This week we hope you will take a hard look at the perfectionist's traits and ask yourself if perfectionism is overtaking your life. You can be free from it!

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.