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Can Perfectionism Be Caused By Trauma?

Exploring the Connection Between Perfectionism and Past Trauma and the Impact on Health and Well-being



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As someone who has personally experienced the obsessive effects of perfectionism rooted in past pain and trauma, I am passionate about shedding light on this topic. The pressure to be perfect can have a profound impact on our relationships, health and well-being, spiritually, mentally and physically. The unresolved trauma of our past can actually manifest as debilitating emotions embedded within our organs. However, through faith-based energy technique therapy, I discovered the lasting release from the grip of perfectionism.


In this blog post, we will delve into the relationship between perfectionism and trauma, and how it can affect various aspects of our lives.  But most importantly, we will discover how to release for good the pain of the trauma triggering a spirit of perfectionism.


The double-edged sword of perfectionism.


While it can drive us to achieve excellence, it can also lead to self-criticism and unrealistic standards. Understanding the underlying causes of perfectionism can help us navigate its impact on our lives.


The debilitating effects stemming from unresolved trauma or past pain.


While there may not be a definitive scientific consensus on this relationship, research suggests that psychological factors, including perfectionism, can impact physical health in the following ways:

  • Psychosomatic Connection:

  • Studies show that psychological stressors, such as perfectionism, can manifest physically through the concept of psychosomatic illnesses, where emotional distress influences bodily functions.

  • Impact on Immune System:

  • Chronic stress, often associated with perfectionism, can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to respiratory issues like asthma and digestive disorders like IBS.

  • Disordered Eating Patterns:

  • Perfectionism is linked to disordered eating behaviors, which can contribute to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, affecting the functioning of the large intestine.

  • Mind-Body Connection:

  • The mind-body connection emphasizes how emotional states, like the pressure of perfectionism, can affect physical health through various mechanisms, including hormonal changes and inflammation.


Again, while the direct causation may not be universally accepted, the impact of psychological factors, like perfectionism, on physical health is a recognized area of study in psychoneuroimmunology and psychosomatic medicine. Understanding and addressing these connections can be crucial for holistic well-being and healing.


"Perfectionism is not a godly pursuit but a burden that hinders our ability to fully experience God's grace and embrace our true identity in Him. Healing from past pains and trauma allows us to let go of the need for perfection and find freedom in God's unconditional love." - [Tricia Harmon]" – Trauma Therapist

My demise with perfectionism steeped in trauma.


We, who struggle with perfectionism have experienced traumatic events in our past. These experiences can shape our beliefs and behaviors, leading to a constant pursuit of perfection. While growing up, I thought it was perfectly normal to end each day with a perfectly organized, spit spot clean, dusted, vacuumed and beautifully smelling home. Didn't every teenager make their bed perfectly every morning, put every single belonging and article of clothing in its rightful place, sanitize the bathroom including shower, sink, mirror, toilet, floor and wastebasket before heading off to school? Didn't everyone return home tip toeing next to the wall and kick board so as not to leave foot prints in the freshly vacuumed plush carpet designed with the pile forming perfect diamonds? I thought it was, until the biggest fights in my first marriage were about how to properly fold the towels just so in order to fit perfectly in the linen closet. Even as a continually child bearing, nursing mom, and home educator to seven in full time ministry, I never understood what was behind my obsession about trying to replicate and maintain my childhood home, especially before my mom and dad would be coming for special occasions. Even worse were the triggers that quickly killed any joy hoped for in our home as I fully expressed my feelings of inadequacies, disappointment in myself, and infuriation towards everyone else in my home who didn't have an ounce of appreciation for what really mattered to me. Is your heart raising as fast as mine picturing the whole scenario, or perhaps reliving your own?


Defeating the destructive deception


If so, let's take the next priceless moments to break free from the deceptive grip of perfectionism rooted in past pain and trauma? It's important to understand this out of balance emotion all began somewhere, over something, with someone. Sometimes, only the body through energy- based muscle testing will help get to the origin of a traumatic issue so that the body will desensitize the emotional stress of it. That's why it's important to work with a trained practitioner. Above all, it is only by beginning with prayer and aligning ourselves with the Spirit of God as partners in order to flesh it out. I strongly encourage those seeking lasting release and healing to work with a trained practitioner, however, if you are doing this alone, I encourage you to prayerfully follow these steps.

  • Identify the pain from your past.

  • Identify the root of perfectionism

  • Where is pain your stored?

  • Who do you need to forgive?

  • Renounce all core lies and vows.

  • Release through forgiveness.


As you begin to identify and understand the root cause of a perfectionist spirit, the following prayer, based on biblical truth, provides healing, restoration, and the release of unrealistic standards.

"Heavenly Father, I come before You burdened by the weight of past traumas and the chains of perfectionism. I seek Your guidance and strength to release these burdens from my body and spirit. I choose to forgive anyone, including myself, who has contributed to my belief that I must be perfect. I let go of unrealistic standards and embrace Your divine unconditional love and acceptance. May Your restorative power heal my spirit, soul, and body, especially my lungs and large intestine, freeing me from the spiritual, physical, and emotional toll of perfectionism. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Delivered and set free


When perfectionism is rooted in the need to please people or gain external approval, it leads to a sense of emptiness and spiritual disconnection. It also leads to health issues in the respiratory and intestinal system. By focusing on pleasing God and aligning one's actions with His guidance, individuals can find freedom from the bondage of perfectionism and experience a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in their spiritual journey. This shift in perspective encourages individuals to prioritize their relationship with God over seeking validation from others, fostering a sense of authenticity and spiritual growth.


Galatians 1:10 - "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."


In Galatians 1:10, the verse highlights the distinction between seeking human approval versus seeking to please God. The verse challenges individuals to reflect on their motives and question whether their actions are driven by a desire for human validation or by a genuine commitment to serving God. It emphasizes the importance of aligning one's intentions with God's will rather than seeking validation solely from others.


So can perfectionism be caused by trauma? The answer is yes. By acknowledging this connection and taking proactive steps towards healing, we can break free from the chains of perfectionism and embrace a healthier, more fulfilling life. I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let's support each other on this journey of self-discovery and growth. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24


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Tricia Harmon

As a renowned leader in women's ministry, an accomplished author, and an inspiring speaker, Tricia Harmon's influence reaches far and wide. Her mentorship has guided countless individuals towards spiritual growth and personal development. Tricia is also a certified trained addiction and spiritual warfare counselor.

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