Jim

  • Jim

    Jim lives with his partner. He is refered by his doctor for anxiety. He has difficulty sleeping, has a lot of nervous energy and reports he feels his heart 'beating in his chest' throughout the day at work. He calls himself a perfectionist and is proud of the high standards he places on himself. Through our discussion, we identified that Jim's 'perfectionism' was taking the form of unflexible 'demands' he placed on himself and was leading him to feel overwhelmed, worried and anxious about needing to perform consistenly at a high level, without allowance for days when he was too tired or had too many task to perform or too many people to please. We worked on Jim first identifying demanding thoughts, such as self talk commencing with "I 'should'' and replacing those with more flexible self talk, such as commencing by "I could..' . Focusing on emotional regulation and distress tolerance, we focused on Jim learning to tolerate anxiety from not performing at a very high level 100% of the time and finding himself a 'disapointment'. With time Jim found that being more relaxed and less demanding of himself at certain times or in certain areas left him with more energy to perform at a high level in domains that were important to him. He learnt to tolerate the anxiety of 'not being perfect all the time' and found this made his life more pleasant