Perfectionism might sound like an admirable trait, but it is often a cause of anxiety, depression and fractured relationships. It is human nature to do something as well as you can. It can make you feel worthwhile and can elevate you in the eyes of friends, family and work colleagues. A mild degree of perfectionism can be a healthy thing. It can drive you to achieve things you would not otherwise achieve and it can give you the motivation to persevere in the face of discouragement and obstacles. High-achieving athletes, scientists, and artists often show signs of perfectionism. But if you feel you have to do things perfectly and that second best is not good enough, then you could be setting yourself up for failure- and the depression and anxiety that follows. Perfectionism is commonly believed to involve one or more of the following: excessive concerns about making mistakes, high personal standards, doubts about actions, need for organisation, high parental expectations and excessive parental criticism.