What we are calling perfectionism is possibly not the character trait we always thought it was. Drake Baer of Thrive Global suggests that what we call perfectionism is in fact a signal for deep, unresolved hurts, anger and long-held beliefs we may have created about ourselves.

The self-hatred and emotional struggle that comes with perfectionism is a genuine threat to mental health, driving depression and suicidal tendancies. The ongoing cycle of self-criticism can also exacerbate other illnesses and diseases, including infertility, where perfectionism is often an idiopathic indicator when struggling to conceive.

Clinical pychologist Paul Hewitt says we need to stop talking about perfectionism as a condition and rather look for underlying causes that trap people in the feeling that they are never good enough.

Wijnland Fertility’s own psychologist, Lizanne van Waart agrees. Many people who are constantly struggling to do better, have more control or who worry what others are thinking of them are trapped in a negative narrative about themselves. This could be a due to childhood rejection or learned behavior but it results in a poor relationship with the self. Working through some of the tough stuff that results in a damaging internal image will be incredibly liberating and healing. It is worth doing this hard work before you have children too. Having a great relationship with yourself will only make all your other relationships more meaningful.