More on Perfectionism: VALUES

Imagine what it would mean to live a life of excellence?

Consider the following acronym: VALUES.

V: Victory – When facing trials and failures, you can choose to focus more on your strengths and the positive aspects of your life. You can develop a mindset that will enable you to move beyond your circumstances and not allow them to negatively affect your mood. This is a key concept for increasing resilience. You may struggle with hardships for a season but trust that there will always be some form of resolution or growth. This is part of the ebb and flow of life.

A: Acceptance – Accept who you are and where you are in the present moment. Rest in the knowledge that you are ”fearfully and wonderfully made.”1 Let go of the need to strive. Make a commitment to stop comparing yourself to others. Embrace your strengths, talents and abilities. Work toward personal growth that will enable you to deal more effectively with your weaknesses.

L: Learning – Consider how you can cultivate an attitude of learning. This starts with becoming a better listener. Listen first and talk later… Ask wondering questions. Complete an inventory of your goals and interests. You may want to interview or research the work of an expert in a field that you are curious about pursuing. Allow curiosity and passion to guide your journey not fear.
U: Understanding – It is vital to seek wisdom and discernment so that you can balance this with worldly knowledge. You can accumulate a lot of information and not know how or when to put it into practice. Wisdom and a clear understanding of a situation can guide you in making better decisions. Growing in wisdom involves spending time with God through prayer, meditation and reflection.

E: Excitement – This relates to having passion and a sense of enjoyment for what you are doing in life. People who enjoy their work, hobbies, sports and personal relationships report a greater sense of life satisfaction. When you are truly excited about something, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. The goal is to have fun doing it! Move out of your comfort zone and try something new.

S: Serenity – This is defined as “the state or quality of being serene, calm or tranquil.”2 When you are calm and relaxed, you can see things from a more realistic vantage point. You are more aware of what you can manage, what is within your control and what is out of your control. You are less focused on people-pleasing and ideally can direct your energy to engaging in meaningful activities. Tend to the nurturing of your soul and you will feel a renewed sense of gratitude and fulfillment. This will naturally lead to having more mental and physical energy for valuable service in your community.

Recovering from perfectionism is a process that involves perseverance and a commitment to change. There needs to be a shift in how you perceive yourself, your priorities, core values and relationships with others. You can live a balanced life that integrates the concepts of victory, acceptance, learning, understanding, excitement and serenity. A life that is well lived is a life of excellence.

If you struggle with perfectionism and want to break free, call New Life Counseling Services or check out our website at to set up an appointment to talk with Rosa or one of our other therapists.

By Rosa Cabezas Fetterman, PsyD

  • 410 SOUTH ANGLE STREET • MOUNT JOY, PA 17552 • (Donegal Professional Center) • Phone: (717) 653-1507 • Fax: 717-653-1527