Understanding perfectionism 




      Perfectionism is experienced in many different ways.

Through extensive conversations and some self reflection I have defined the reasoning behind my perfectionism. In the span of 10 weeks I conducted a variety of research methods prepared for peers, volunteers, and my family. Specific areas in which I believe had a major influence on this topic.

Research Methods

Activities and observation 
12 ft long timeline of events containing early signs of perfectionism 
Journal entries
Cognitive therapy

Conclusive Outcomes

I found myself very enlightened by the process.  In conclusion, I found that perfectionism is defined in many ways and in some cases it is not always negative.  Overall I’ve gained a new perspective and learned about how “perfectionism traits” are identified by an individual. As for myself perfectionism was brought upon generational cycles of life altering experiences by those before me.

1. Need

This is Diego Castro , my father.  I conversed with him on why he believed he was a perfectionist, during our interview I sensed he recalled to one of his earliest memories, he immediately responded with the word “ Need, I needed this, I needed that, I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to struggle.” Diego was abandoned by his father and left to raise his 3 younger brothers at the age of 12.  He described that his perfectionism came from hitting a point where “you start to question how far can you go, how good are you?”

Diego felt that he needed to grow in the same measurements of his capabilities, at the time of his needs he realized that perfectionism indeed saved him. A few years later he raised his own children and family of 4 by the age of 22, where once again perfectionism was magnified.

“I needed to create a hero who was perfect at every skill so later my kids could have a perfect father figure.”

2. Understanding Backgrounds

With even more extensive research I learned someone's upbringing is a key point to understanding behavioral patterns. In this case, generational cycles, childhood trauma, and survival mode created the perfectionist in Mariela Castro, my mother. 

Mariela experienced high levels of stress as an orphan growing up, upon request I’ve chosen to not disclose our interview, but I did discover reasons behind the tiny details in our household and the structure which molded characteristics of my own perfectionism, along  with her roles as a mother she also faced  the pressures of being the first generation in America.

Now knowing the risks and strides that were made before me left no room for failure.


Towards the end of my research I realized it all starts and ends with me. I'm the only one who decides how perfectionism effects me. I took everything I had learned  throughout the past 10 weeks and reflected on my own issues , I found that I too try to be more then perfect, to the point of sabatoging my own success and sometimes opportunities. Pressures within society, fear of rejection, and the need to always be better have left me unfulfilled untill now,  I've gained a different perspective and have learned to admire the traits I  have as a perfectionist.


For my expected outcome, I want to create a project with my community, I want to work with students and teachers at KSMoCA, and create a workshop to help young students  who are experiencing negative effects perfectionism. I have created an outline and detailed budget plan for any and all expenses towards this project.  At the moment I have decide to create a mini Coloring book for adults and anyone who identifies with being a perfectionist.