Do I have this?

Atelophobia is an overwhelming fear of imperfection. People with atelophobia judge themselves very harshly, often setting unrealistic goals. They may get upset about mistakes they’ve made in the past or mistakes they’re afraid of making in the future. Atelophobia often leads to extreme anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or panic attacks.

Atelophobia is different than Atychiphobia, which is a fear of failure.

Atelophobia is different than perfectionism, which is a personality trait that causes you to hold yourself to extremely high standards and strive to be flawless. Atelophobia is an actual fear of flaws. Someone with atelophobia may avoid a situation in which they think they could make a mistake, seeing it as threatening. The fear can affect every aspect of their lives, from school and work to family life and social situations.

I do a lot of self-reflection, and when I came across this condition, it hit me like a ton of bricks that this sounds just like me. I understand the dangers of self-diagnosis but, seriously, the description in the first paragraph describes me to a “T.” I do have diagnosed Anxiety, but is it more than that? Am I actually Atelophobic? (I can here Spo rolling his eyes as he reads this.)

On the plus side, I clearly acknowledge my own imperfection, so I’m unlike many other Americans, Despots, Tyrants, Dictators, and Karens of the world.

18 thoughts on “Do I have this?

  1. I guess it’s true that you learn something new everyday. I think most of us (whether we admit it or not) experience atelophobia. I know we blame social media for everything nowadays, but I can see social media contributing to this. Since joining IG a couple years ago, I noticed that I constantly comparing myself to dudes with amazing 6-pack abs or folks constantly vacationing in exotic places. A couple of times, I have been like why even bothering going to the beach, if I don’t look like ___ (insert a celeb with a great physique).

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    • Good point. Most of us probably suffer from this to some degree or another. I think the problem starts when it becomes actually debilitating and preventing you from trying to do anything. While the media certainly makes those who we may deem to be smarter, prettier, or wealthier than us more visible to us, ultimately we are responsible for how we digest that information and allow it to impact us. We need to learn how not to compare ourselves to others and appreciate ourselves for who and what we are.

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  2. I agree with the the sentiments offered by swoseil2 above. Probably the majority of us have atelophobia to some degree but without the knowledge to identify it. Good information! 😉 Naked hugs!

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  3. Yeah, self-diagnosis is a tricky and dangerous thing. But it’s so tempting to do, isn’t it! Even more tempting is coming up with mental health diagnoses for exes. You wouldn’t believe the conditions and neuroses my misguided exes have had, LOL!

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    • Trust me I do believe it. All of my exes and ex-friends have the most vile and detestible personality traits, illnesses, and psychological issues you can imagine. *smirk*

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  4. I used to be like that all the time. But with age and the passage of time, I’m learning to give myself a break if I’m not perfect or have flaws. We all do. There is no reason to torture myself.

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