Admit it: Isn't there a little part of you that is kind of proud of your perfectionism? It means you're a smart, reliable, strong, hard-working, thorough, get-it-done kind of person. You've probably even received recognition for these traits in the workplace or other arenas.

Perhaps you even recognize that you are only a perfectionist in certain areas: Work. Home. Your partner. Children. School. Garden. Hobbies. Volunteer work. All of the above?

Of course, the problem with perfectionism is that ultimately it is untenable. No one can live up to perfectionistic standards all of the time. So you can sometimes wind up feeling like a failure, even if you did well – but not well enough (according to your own standards).

Other issues:

Bottom line: You can end up feeling pretty miserable much of the time even though you may be outwardly successful. But you can "recover" from perfectionism, yet still have high standards and excellent performance.

The key is to understanding the motivations fueling your perfectionism. It is a fascinating exploration, and unique to you. Through understanding and insight, you may likely find the exact right balance for you.

"Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical . . . . Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it's often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction and life paralysis."

-- BRENE BROWN

"The critical voices in our own heads are far more vicious than what we might hear from the outside. Our 'inside critics' have intimate knowledge of us and can zero in on our weakest spots."

-- SUSAN A.R. KENNEDY