Sarah Normandin is a life coach for women and a recovering perfectionist. She used to be my own most enthusiastic critic. Nothing she did met her high expectations and she had the emotional wounds to prove it. At best, she was your typical frenemy, whose backhanded comments lingered in her mind long into the wee hours. At worst, her own self-doubt was so debilitating that she wasn't sure she could ever escape it.
Sarah isn't alone in this. Women often struggle with perfectionism and low self-esteem. When prompted, they can hardly manage to think of a neutral thing to say about themselves, let alone something positive.
Self-criticism affects more than just our self worth. Our high standards are often reflected in other areas of our lives. This can lead to stress at work and in relationships. It is exhausting to try so hard and constantly feel disappointed in ourselves and everyone else.
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