Research from Canada, the United States, and Britain shows that perfectionism is rising in young adults.

Perfectionism is a personality trait or characteristic that is innate in many people. It is nurtured in some environments, notably in families where personal accomplishment, academic or otherwise, is rewarded: “Where self-esteem is earned, not just given out with a trophy for participation,” said Steve Codling, a high school teacher in Seattle who believes in pushing his students as well as his college-age sons to excel and praising them when they do.

Many individuals describe their perfectionism as paralyzing and a driving force behind procrastination. They would rather not do it at all than not do it perfectly. Other times, many find their perfectionism to be a benefit, but only when it is not out of control.

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