How to Overcome Perfectionism | Perfectionism Anxiety

by | January 27, 2020 | Happiness, Productivity, Self-help, Self-improvement, Work

If you struggle with perfectionism, I know exactly where you’re coming from. 

In fact, I’m a recovering perfectionist. Giving up my perfectionist tendencies was one of the hardest things I had to do, so you need to prepare yourself for a bumpy ride.

I want to share with you how I finally overcame my perfectionism and stopped wasting my time. I’m going to tell you everything I’ve learned from my personal experience in hopes I spare you all the drama I had to go through before I was finally able to manage it.

Knowing how to master your negative self-talk is crucial when it comes to overcoming perfectionism. In fact, perfectionism happens when we listen to the repetitive negative thoughts in our minds. If we manage to become more self-aware of our inner critic, we’ll get one step closer to overcoming perfectionism.

Where Does Perfectionism Come From?

One of the most common reasons we turn into perfectionists is because of a critical parent or caregiver. Sometimes, even an overly critical teacher can turn on that switch.

What happens is nothing we do ever feels good enough.

I don’t know about you, but my perfectionism has sabotaged me so many times before that one day I got so mad that I decided it was time to stop striving for perfection. Here are my 3 tips on how to overcome perfectionism:

1. Identify the Core Reason for Being a Perfectionist

We briefly touched on this subject earlier in this article, but I want you to do a little exercise with me. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and answer the following questions:

✔ When I hear the word ‘perfection’, who is the first person that comes to my mind?

✔ Have I experienced severe criticism in my family?

✔ What will happen if I don’t do things perfectly?

✔ Does being a perfectionist make me a better person?

✔ What does perfectionism give me?

✔ What does it take away from me?

After answering these questions, you’re going to have a little bit more clarity on the core reason for becoming a perfectionist.

2. Do Something Imperfectly

I’m going to be honest with you – I still cringe every time I do something that, to me, seems lower than my extremely high and unnecessary demanding standards for myself. 

But, here’s the thing: if you don’t learn to do things imperfectly, you’re going to burn out pretty quickly and there’s a good chance you’ll lose the joy of creating things.

So, what can you do to lower your standards without driving yourself completely nuts?

Here are a few examples of doing things imperfectly: next time you shoot a video and you have flying hairs, messed up lipstick, or something else that bothers you, leave it like that. Or next time you do a design for a client and you’ve spent 6 hours perfecting a small detail on the logo, leave it like that. 

I know how hard it may seem at first, so I want you to start small. Leave a typo in a blog post, a little stain on your shirt, etc.

If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, now that’s a whole different story. Perfectionism may be ingrained so deep into your personality that you need the help of a therapist to manage it.

But if you just have too high standards for yourself, try to lower them a little bit and see what happens. 

3. Push for Progress, not Perfection

This sentence completely changed my life.

Perfectionism is rigid and revolves around control: things have to go a certain way, look a certain way, behave a certain way. Progress, on the other hand, is to be one step closer to achieving your goal.

If you get stuck in perfectionism, remember this little mantra, and move into action. It may be hard to remember it at first, that’s why I recommend you write it on a sticky note on your computer to look at it throughout the day.

The more you repeat it to yourself, the easier it will get to let go of your perfectionist tendencies.

Before we jump into the last portion of this blog post, I want to hear from you:

How do you deal with perfectionism? Do you have any practices that help you out? Share in the comments below. 👇

If you’re still not convinced that perfectionism is ruining your life and it’s time to kick this nasty habit, here are three things I wanna share with you coming from my personal experience:

✔ It’s better to upload 100 crappy videos and get better on camera than to upload 10 because you overthink it.

✔ It’s better to have 100 free sessions and get better at coaching than offer only 10 because you feel too shy to sell your services.

✔ It’s better to make 100 mistakes and learn from them than just get scared after your 10th mistake and quit trying.

Life is just a game. And here’s today’s tweetable:

Becoming better at failing makes you better at playing. Click To Tweet

If you want to achieve your goals, push for progress, not perfection.

Perfection’s overrated anyway. 😉

Love,