Counseling Center


Amherst is known for its high academic standards and bright, hard-working students.  You might think of perfectionism as a positive trait, after all, holding yourself to a standard of excellence can push you to do great work, which leads to good grades, which in turn leads to the foundation for graduate school and a successful career, right?  It’s great to challenge yourself and strive to do good work, as long as you can maintain perspective.  Perfectionism can be debilitating if you are constantly under pressure to live up to an unrealistic standard, and therefore never feel “good enough.”  Sometimes focusing exclusively on a perfect product can be an impediment to learning and growth, as well as staying healthy and enjoying life.  If you feel perfectionism is having a negative impact, consider talking to someone about it.


  • You have high expectations of yourself and others
  • You are rarely satisfied with the quality of your work
  • You sense that you can never be “good enough”
  • You are critical of yourself and others when high standards aren’t met
  • You have difficulty letting go of mistakes
  • You rework papers and projects over and over
  • You like to be in control and have difficulty accepting advice or assistance from others
  • You don’t delegate, and rework tasks that others have completed
  • You are afraid of failure and rejection
  • You constantly working on self-improvement
  • You have difficulty relaxing
  • You frequently measures self against others
  • Your sense of self-worth is tied to performance


On Campus (413-542-extension)

Off Campus