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Andrea Anderson Polk’s Blog

Clinically Practiced, Biblically Informed

  • Writer's pictureAndrea Anderson Polk

Andrea Published in The Science of Personality Magazine

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

In a recent interview with Karen Asp and published by Centennial Media, "The Highest Bar: If striving for perfection is making you miserable, it's time to take action," Andrea discusses perfectionism from a clinical, mental health perspective.

Andrea is quoted in these excerpts from The Science of Personality Magazine article:

You might assume that perfectionism simply means striving to be perfect. But it’s more complex than that. “It’s an obsessive preoccupation with performance, achievement and

appearance,” says Andrea Anderson Polk, LPC, CPC, a licensed professional counselor in Washington, D.C., and author of The Cuckoo Syndrome. “People with perfectionism look to people and work for approval and validation; their worth and value are tied to what they do versus who they are.”

Shame may even be at the root of perfectionism. “Shame seems like a strong word, but people who struggle with perfectionism often have deep-seated feelings of low self-esteem, inadequacy and inferiority that they’re unconsciously trying to avoid,” Polk says. Shame might stem from difficult childhood critic who’s constantly picking at you, saying things like, “You’re not good enough.”

“Perfectionism turns your passions into obsessions, which takes the joy out of them,” Polk says.

“Because perfectionists want to do things perfectly and are afraid of failing, they may put off doing something they really enjoy or want to achieve,” Polk says.

“People who struggle with perfectionism are driven by internal pressures such as unreasonable and unrealistically high expectations as well as extremely high ideals and standards, and often their happiness is dependent upon their success and achievements,” Polk says, adding that this results in a lack of self-compassion and being self-critical. Rather than measuring your success by outcomes like social media followers and podcast ratings, instead think about how you’re helping people and making a real difference in their lives.

Read the article below!

The Science of Personality
Download PDF • 230KB

If the conversation resonates within you and you would like to heal from perfectionism, work with Andrea one-on-one to dive deeper into your struggles and stuck points. Her greatest joy is to help people face the deepest truths of their lives so they can be healed and happy.

Chapter 7, The Perfectionism Cuckoo: When Passions become Obsessions, will provide you with practical steps to overcoming perfectionism as well as identifying the root cause.

Order Andrea’s new book, The Cuckoo Syndrome, today!

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Andrea Anderson Polk is a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified, registered clinical supervisor, and certified professional coach. She has a private practice in Northern Virginia with nearly 20 years of clinical experience helping hundreds of clients on their healing journey.

She is driven by a deep calling to help ambitious women of faith experience healing and breakthrough so they can live each day with peace and purpose. 

Andrea believes healing happens through relationship. The wounds that occur in a relationship must be healed in a relationship. Andrea invites you into a life-altering relationship.

Work with Andrea one-one- by contacting her here.


Andrea has spent her career studying the human experience and has developed a fascinating analogy that compares cuckoo birds, nature’s master manipulator and imposter, to situations and relationships that leave us feeling drained, confused, lost, and empty. Her new book, The Cuckoo Syndrome, helps us fend off the cuckoos, the unhealthy relationships, toxic thinking, and self-sabotaging behaviors in our life that never truly satisfy the deep longings of our souls and the desires of our hearts. 

Andrea’s clinically proven, innovative method helps us recover the lost pieces of ourselves, discover meaning in suffering, and transform our pain into purpose by teaching us to uncover the truth of who we are and who God is so we can be healed and live free. 

Purchase the book Andrea’s clients call “a life-changing breakthrough” for yourself and the people you care about today.

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If you….

Feel internal pressure to do all things well. 

Tend to neglect your needs to please others and search for validation.

Continually attract toxic or one-sided relationships leaving you drained. 

Want to build a life that is unashamedly true to who you are and what you want.


Then…this is the time to reclaim your JOY, ENERGY, AND TIME so you can live each day with peace and purpose!


Curious to know how?

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