Perfectionism, in psychology, is a broad personality style characterized by a person's concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others' evaluations. Perfectionism drives people to be concerned with achieving unattainable ideals or unrealistic goals that often lead to many forms of adjustment problems such as depression, anxiety, OCD, OCPD and low self-esteem. When you don’t feel accepted for who you are while you’re still developing, it can lead to constant feelings of worthlessness and insecurity in adulthood. To overcome the feeling of being “not good enough,” perfectionism can emerge as a defence mechanism. Proving yourself to others, whether it’s as the most talented, smart or successful, becomes a means of keeping yourself safe. Left unchecked, perfectionism can create a cycle of anxiety and depression that makes achievement even harder. This, in turn, fuels greater feelings and fears of inadequacy. You’ll suddenly find yourself trapped trying to be the best while constantly feeling the worst.
See: Achievement, Adversity, Burnout and Resilience.