October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

Perfectionist kids, teens, and college students have trouble ignoring their perfectionistic tendencies and focusing on the challenge at hand.

Our brains prevent us from fully engaging because they get so worried about what a poor grade, poor score, or poor performance means about us. Many times, the kids and teens I work with will engage in an anxious spiral. It usually looks something like:

  • If I get less than an A on this test, that means I have a bad grade

  • If I have a bad grade, that means I’m doing poorly in this class

  • I might even fail this class

  • And other classes

  • And I’ll barely graduate highschool

  • And I won’t get into the college I want

  • And I won’t be able to go to medical school

  • Which means I’ll never be a doctor

  • My life will be ruined

But when we take a step back, we can see that the anxiety spiral is little bit out of control.

There’s no way, when we use logic, that getting less than an A on your test means that you’re life is ruined. Our anxious minds just tell us this because they want us to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

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Setting Goals for College

Setting Goals for College

Here you are, preparing for the big move: COLLEGE.

And this year is going to be different. You're excited about your coursework, you’re jazzed about meeting new people your age (yes, I'm the kind of lame therapist who uses words like "jazzed"), and you're pumped (also, "pumped") about all of the exciting new opportunities and challenges coming your way.

You've got goals! And plans! So how do you actually follow through on them in college?

Have SMART goals: make sure your resolution is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

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