"Almost by definition, if you're anxious, you're being overly perfectionistic in the goals you're setting for yourself," Barlow says. "You see all the ways you won't meet them, the thought of failure makes you anxious, and anxiety makes you think the worst."
Look at the hard evidence from past experiences. Honestly, have you ever been laughed out of a job interview or a work presentation for not getting every word just so? "Most of the time, people will see that things went all right, even if they thought they could have done better," says Barlow. "Tell yourself, 'It's extremely unlikely that anything will ever go as badly as I think.'"
Hoarding can take years to overcome, says Dr. David Tolin, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. He offers these tips to those who may be feeling overwhelmed by the task of cleaning their homes.
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