Perfectionism is a trait that can easily spiral into unhealthy levels when not kept in check. It becomes more of a will to never experience failure rather than a will to succeed. Nevertheless, when kept in check, it can enhance better drive towards your goals and help you improve yourself.
How To overcome perfectionism?
Distance yourself from the inner critic
Perfectionism is an inner critic that portrays that you are never good enough no matter what you do and how hard you try. It never allows you to settle down or be confident and competent with yourself. Every time you’ll feel that the negative self-talk is going over your thoughts and emotions.
Separating and defusing yourself from this inner critic of yours is the best way to say goodbye to perfectionism, as it can eat you up from within.
Keep track of your thoughts
To enhance self-confidence and foster compassion within yourself, you must let go of perfectionism, and to do so, you must keep track of your thoughts rather than the perfectionist thoughts and beliefs.
You never realize how badly you’re destroying your inner core by letting the perfectionist thoughts take over the genuine and constructive thoughts.
Practice listening to yourself more and understand every time negative thoughts arise that you must actively deal with them to curb them.
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Be yourself always
One of the best ways to get rid of perfectionist thoughts and beliefs is to be yourself. Never let someone else’s definition of being perfect influence you. No one is perfect in this world, everyone has their flaws and insecurities, and that’s what makes them human beings.
So, own your flaws, fears, and accept failures. These will help you grow and be successful, rather than being a perfectionist, which only makes you bully your values and yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Keeping in mind the previous point, it is also very important to stop comparing yourself to others. A comparison with someone else can never be fruitful.
Yes, you can try to inculcate their skills and ways but never think of yourself to be weaker than anyone. Don’t demean yourself.
When you compare yourself to someone, you try to be like them in every sense or even better, and that’s what arises from perfectionist thoughts and beliefs, which are again unhealthy when not kept in check.
Concentrate on your strengths
It is important to focus on your strengths and abilities and identify them. Your strengths are not conditional; they do not depend on your achievements or rewards.
When you focus on your strengths, you increase your self-efficacy and self-confidence. These are an inherent part of yourself.
When you are sure of your abilities, you are sure of what you are capable of, and you don’t fear rejections and failures. Not being afraid of failures can be the yardstick of success.
Cherish moments to the fullest and be grateful
The trait of perfectionism is quite difficult to get rid of but is not impossible. It takes time and patience to fully overcome this unhealthy feeling of perfectionism.
Till then, never miss out on any moment, enjoy every one of them, and be grateful that those moments are happening in your life, without trying to figure out the negative aspects in them as well.
When you remind yourself about the good things you are grateful for, you stop striving for perfection.
Imagine your life at 100 years old
This exercise can be instrumental in making you realize whether there is a place for perfectionism in your life or not.
This is a therapy exercise that deals with overcoming perfectionism by incorporating a constructive point of view or mindset.
Picture yourself at 100 years old. Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with what you’ve done all your life? Your core values, do they have a place for perfectionism? Understand what changes you need for a life undaunted by perfectionism.
Cultivate the attribute of self-acceptance
This is what perfectionists hate. They hate to accept the fact that they can’t be right every time and that they are not fully perfect.
Acceptance allows you to face your problems and difficulties rather than denying them. Denying those issues will only make them a heavier burden on your shoulders with time.
You learn to accept who you are; you accept your mistakes. You tend to approach yourself with forgiveness instead of criticism.
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Take the help of a professional therapist
Perfectionism is a negative trait often associated with depression, anxiety, and other stress-related issues. It can tend to be a life-challenging experience.
Getting through perfectionism and overcoming it can be a time-consuming affair and difficult to do without the help of a professional therapist.
One therapy that can be beneficial to you is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to curb your negative thought patterns. This approach can be really helpful if you are desperate to get rid of perfectionism.
Experiment more often than not
Anxiety, depression, and fear consist of various “what-ifs”, and these are the signature elements of perfectionism.
As already mentioned before, perfectionism is more about how to avoid failure rather than how to gain success, and this prohibits people from taking the steps required to overcome perfectionism.
Developing an experimental mindset like meeting the “what-if’s” and understanding and reversing them to something fruitful like instead of overworking, taking frequent breaks, which is healthy for your mind as well as body.
Find the main purpose of your life
It is very important to realize and understand your goals and what you can do to achieve them. That’s the main purpose of your life, to achieve what you have always dreamt of and live life on your terms.
Perfectionists tend to set unattainable unrealistic goals for them and fear failures. They never see the bigger picture as they are so hyper-focused on the process and mire themselves in self-criticism. Perfectionism can easily become a dark purposeless pit.
Prioritize yourself more often
Always remember that you’re not being selfish when you prioritize yourself over others. Rather you should. Keep your necessities, your needs, and your goals in front of you, rather than others’.
Invest in yourself, hit the gym more often, eat healthily and work hard, but don’t forget to take frequent breaks. When you take care of yourself more, no matter what, your perfectionist thoughts just disappear, and, in this way, you can better take care of others as well if you stay healthy.
Invest time in yourself
Quite similar to the previous point, investing time in yourself also means taking that very important break from work. You don’t have to overwork yourself to get the results you want, and this is what perfectionist thinking does to you.
You fear failures so much that you are ready to give everything you have and not care about your health.
Take up that hobby once again, continue reading that book, visit that café, make time for yourself which is very important to overcome perfectionism.
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Time off is not time wasted
When you have a perfectionist mindset, you get easily carried away with the fear of failure, and you tend to overwork yourself. You must also keep in mind that your health is important for you to succeed in life.
For this reason, it is always advised to avoid stressing out yourself and take enough breaks to freshen up, whether you are a perfectionist or not. You should take part in light-hearted activities and hobbies which will rekindle your motivation in the longer run.
Multitasking should be avoided
You might think that multitasking gets a lot done in a very short period, but that’s not what it is. When you are doing so many things together, your concentration is all over the place, and you can’t focus on something specific.
Multi-tasking also decreases efficiency and stresses you up even more. It might seem fruitful, but it’s only damaging your work rate. It even disrupts your memory, so try to avoid it as much as possible if you are to overcome perfectionism.
Stop expecting everyone to follow your standards
When you have a perfectionist mindset and you feel that everything you are executing is perfect, you tend to think that everyone around you will execute the same way as you do.
You must avoid falling into this trap of expecting everyone to be perfect as the world is not wired this way.
The sooner you stop expecting such unrealistic things, the better you can overcome this trait of perfectionism. Accept things and people as they come.
Take frequent breaks
You will have come across this line in various other points, so you can realize how instrumental it is for you to overcome perfectionism. Perfectionists usually work to such an extent that they get stressed out, and it affects their health rather than providing fruitful results.
A much important break from work will ensure a time for yourself. You can take up that hobby again or enjoy quality time with your friends. A time-out will lead to better results in the longer run.
Learn to say no more often
This is a very hard thing to do for perfectionists. Due to their high zeal and ambition, they often find it difficult to say no or turn down offers. To them, every opportunity is a chance to show their best, but hardly they realize that not all opportunities are made for their skills and abilities.
One of the most important things when it comes to overcoming perfectionism is knowing your abilities and building a boundary around you that leads to sustainable energy.
Take a vacation
While rescheduling a break from work, go the extra mile and schedule a vacation. You will thank yourself. Staying and working in the same old environment can eat you up from the inside and stress you up even more.
Taking a vacation to visit a different country or a different state where the environment is different altogether will give you a mental boost. You will cleanse yourself from the mental baggage and be more energetic when you return.
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Trust yourself more
Trust, this is what will get you going. When you trust yourself no matter what, you know you will succeed, and you will not fear failures. Failures are the stepping stones towards success.
When you trust yourself, you know for a fact that even if you have to push yourself through hell, you will, and the work that has been assigned to you will be spotless by the time it’s done. This is how you can boost your morale when you trust yourself.
Create realistic goals and have realistic aspirations
It’s not wrong to have big goals and dreams, but what’s important is knowing whether the goals are realistic or not. When you set realistic goals, you don’t have to spend excess time and energy on the impossible.
When you are good at something and want to become something else which will be very difficult for you beginning from now, it becomes an unrealistic goal.
Give more effort to what you are already good at. This is how you overcome perfectionism.
Dispute negative thoughts
Negativity arises in all of you at various points in your life. One should not let negative thoughts wreak havoc on him/her. This is why it is always advised to have realistic thoughts and aspirations as they keep you away from negativity and pessimism.
You should also give yourself positive feedbacks and be affectionate towards yourself rather than always looking down upon yourself. When you do this, you keep yourself away from negativity no matter what the situation is.
Be grateful towards everyone and everything around you
One of the crucial things people forget, even if they are not perfectionists, is that they should be grateful to things and people around them at every point of their lives.
When you are grateful, you find the positives at any cost, even in the worst of circumstances. You stop fearing failures and strive towards gaining success, and you are well prepared to overcome perfectionism.
You don’t expect everyone to be as perfect as you are; still, you find the best in them.
Meditate regularly without failure
Probably the best cure for many mental and physical ailments, once you get into the knack of meditating regularly, you can get rid of traits like perfectionism which hurt your mind and health.
When you meditate, you focus your attention on one thing at a time, you become more grateful, and listen to your core, and respect the values you have, rather than letting negativity capture your mind, which is very essential if you are to curb perfectionism.
From the above points, it can be concluded that perfectionism is a trait that can wreak havoc on your mind and fill it with negativity. It can have a grave impact on your health as well, so you need to follow the above-discussed points, without fail, to overcome perfectionism at the earliest.
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“Mindfulness, meditation, and positivity – these three words describe me the best. I founded “BeHappyHuman” blog dedicated to spreading happiness and inner peace through mindfulness and meditation techniques. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been exploring these practices for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing their benefits with others. My mission is to help individuals achieve greater happiness.