“If I’m Perfect No One Will Reject Me”: Healing Perfectionism

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

Do you believe that being “perfect” gives you control over how people feel about you?”

If you do, then you are coming from 3 big false beliefs that are causing you much unhappiness.


“I can have control over how people feel about me.”

Think for a moment whether or not others have control over how you feel about them. Can someone do everything “right” and be “perfect” in their own eyes, yet you don’t enjoy being around them or you don’t feel connected with them?

Of course!

Others may influence how you feel about them, but they have no control over how you feel about them. If you are a basically accepting person, then you might like them even if they get angry or withdrawn. If you are generally a judgmental person, then there may be little they can do for you to like them.

Now turn this around regarding how others feel about you. Since you have no control over whether or not another person is accepting or judgmental, it stands to reason that you also have no control over how they feel about you, regardless of how perfectly loving, open, caring, giving, understanding, handsome, beautiful, or rich you are.


“There is a standard of perfectionism and I can reach it.”

I grew up believing that there was a “right” and “perfect” way to be. Then I learned that what I thought was right and perfect was not necessarily what others thought was right and perfect. In fact, it seemed that each person had a completely different understanding of what it means to be perfect!

This was quite distressing to me, as it took away my illusion of control over how people felt about me. At that time many years ago, I was terrified of rejection, so it gave me great comfort to believe that if only I was perfect enough, then I would never be rejected. Without a standard of perfection, what would be my guiding light to feel safe?


“I am basically flawed and need to strive to cover up my flaws and appear to be better than I am.”

As long as I believed that I was basically flawed in some way, I was afraid of rejection. When I learned how to connect with my spiritual Guidance and see myself through the eyes of truth rather than through the eyes of my parents and others, I was able to see that my soul essence – my core Self – is already perfect, a perfect individualized expression of the Divine.

What was flawed were my beliefs that were programmed into me and needed to be healed.


Imagine how life would be for you if you knew that you were already perfectly wonderful and incredible just the way you are in your true Self? What if you could separate out the flawed, wounded, programmed part of you – the part you created to help you survive pain – from the magnificent part of you that God created. What if you could see that your ego wounded self – with all your fears and protections and ways of trying to have control over getting love and avoiding pain – is NOT who you are.

Then, instead of perfectionism being your guiding light, being fully and passionately yourself becomes your guiding light!

I assure you, this is a MUCH easier way to live!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Visit her at innerbonding.com.

4 replies
  1. lanamolinespeaks
    lanamolinespeaks says:

    What a wonderful and confirming statement of WHO and WHOSE we really are. You have echoed the fact that the word of God says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Thank you so much for this article.
    My recent post Reach Out and Touch

  2. @HaitianPhoenix
    @HaitianPhoenix says:

    "I grew up believing that there was a “right” and “perfect” way to be. " So did I, but the more I tried to be perfect, the harder it became to try to please everyone. At the end of the day, it's my opinion of myself that counts.
    My recent post Step by Step

    • Fatima
      Fatima says:

      I was the same way. I can still be like that at times. It's kind of like a bad habit. But, Im creating a new me little by little.

  3. Kirsten
    Kirsten says:

    WOW…THIS IS SO ON POINT. “I am basically flawed and need to strive to cover up my flaws and appear to be better than I am.” IF WE COULD ALL JUST GET RID OF THIS DEVASTATING FALSE BELIEF THEN WE WOULD ALL BE SOARING TO HEIGHTS UNIMAGINABLE. Thank you for your work.

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