Do you find it hard to start a project because you’re afraid it won’t turn out a certain way? Do you often spend a ton of time preparing for a presentation that should be short and to the point?
If this is you, then you may be dealing with perfectionism.
Being a perfectionist isn’t a bad thing, as long as you use it to better your life. The moment perfectionism hinders your growth is when you should be concerned.
Believing things have to be perfect all the time makes it hard to live life to the fullest. You dwell on things, and that takes away from finding joy in the little moments.
Forget focusing on all the things that could go wrong; it’s time to let go of your fears.
Cut yourself some slack, and do tasks without worrying about how badly they may turn out.
Here are five ways to stop perfection from ruling your life and how to overcome it.
1. Be More Realistic With Your Goals
Are your goals too lofty and unrealistic? One of your goals may be to read three books in one month when you’ve barely read one in two months. Or, you’re putting pressure on yourself to save money to buy a car in an unrealistic time frame.
Achieving great things happens with goals, but not if you can’t follow through with them. You’ll likely throw in the towel if something feels too overwhelming.
If you feel that way about your goals, likely, you won’t implement them. Not meeting your goals can set you back, and you don’t want that to happen!
That’s why making your goals more achievable is imperative. Start small by setting a goal to read one book per month. If you read a book, then increase it to two books a month and so forth.
Measurable goals aren’t a bad thing. If the perfectionist in you tells you that small ideas won’t cut it, tell it to pipe down.
You’ll reach your goals, but only if you make them attainable.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Perfectionists are hard on themselves. If that has been you as of late, you should take better care of yourself.
There’s nothing wrong with having goals, as we discussed. But when you start obsessing over those goals, you’ll start feeling overwhelmed.
That’s why you must make your self-care a priority. Take an hour a day to relax and read. Also, consider getting a massage, meditating, or practicing yoga. Engage with things that help you unwind and stop focusing on all the things you need to get done.
You may also be having a hard time letting go. Escaping a bit to feel better is perfectly fine. Don’t tell yourself it’s not necessary when you know it is.
It’ll be good to remind yourself that not everything has to be perfect and that you’re doing your best.
3. Replace Self-Doubt With Self-Respect
Sometimes a perfectionist procrastinates because they doubt they can do something well.
They’re afraid to start because they believe something will go amiss. We hate to break it to you, but if you’re scared of something going wrong, it will!
If you struggle with starting before you’ve even begun, understand you’ll make mistakes.
It’d be hard to learn and grow if you never have any slip-ups. So be okay with the fact that not everything is going to go as planned.
Move past your fears and start doing things that you’ve been putting off due to insecurities. You’ll find that even when you make errors, you’ll learn a lot.
4. Let Go of Past Mistakes
Perfectionists also like to harp on themselves for not reaching specific goals. You might be so hung up on what you couldn’t do that you can’t move forward!
But what good is punishing yourself for something you didn’t do in the past?
Instead, keep track of the things you have accomplished instead of the ones you haven’t. Focusing on the positive will encourage you to reach new goals and follow your dreams.
It’s natural for you to reflect on your flaws, but don’t allow that to thwart your growth. Moving forward is possible when you forgive yourself.
Learn from your mistakes and focus on how they’ve made you into a better person.
5. Give the People in Your Life a Break
It’s easy for perfectionistic tendencies to seep into your expectations of others. You may expect a person to be a certain way when that’s not who they are.
Friendships are hard to maintain when you’re hard on people for not being who you want them to be. They’re only human, after all, and they go through struggles like you!
Realize that your standards may be impossible for others to meet. They’re not always going to say the perfect things. And it’s common for even your closest family and friends to disappoint you.
When they do let you down, choose to forgive. That’s a lot better than expecting someone to be perfect. You can see the best in someone, but they still have flaws like you.
If you don’t let go of unrealistic expectations, it’s hard to maintain relationships. So press forward knowing that your loved ones are going to mess up, and that’s normal.
Being a perfectionist has a lot of benefits, but it’s also very tiring. Instead of allowing it to take over your life, you set the rules!
You can either be overcome by your inadequacies or choose to let go. That’s why you should strive to be great, but if things don’t go as planned, don’t give up.
Be the best version of you, and in the process, you’ll let go of your perfectionism and embrace the person you are.
About the author
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Azure (CA) with 5 years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Azure the place to call home.