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Overcoming Perfectionism: Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

Your life will improve dramatically if you learn to let go of your need for perfection. As you loosen your grip on predetermined outcomes, you make room for the unforeseen gifts of life and discover the means by which to co-create the life you see for yourself.

Perfectionists hold themselves to extremely high standards, which, at first glance, may seem like a positive quality. They put in the effort to be the best they can be and work hard to maintain a neat and tidy lifestyle.

Nevertheless, it isn't how reality operates. Life is complicated and much of it is out of our hands.

Those who strive for perfection often struggle to adapt when things don't go as planned. The results of this can be severe, as it can cause a person to become too concerned with perfection.

If you're a perfectionist who's been holding yourself back, keep reading to find out how to let go and start living your best life.

The price of trying to be flawless

Those who strive for perfection are unwilling to settle for anything less than optimal results. As an ideal, however, perfection is unattainable, and the pursuit of it leads to disappointment.

Perfectionism despite procrastination

Why do people put things off? Perfectionism is often the deciding factor.

It's common for perfectionist inclinations to stem from a desire to shield oneself from criticism and setbacks at any costs. And how can you make sure you never have to face the possibility of rejection or criticism?

Putting off beginning anything until it's perfect timing, or when failure is impossible. Before making a move, you work on honing your abilities and waiting for favorable circumstances.

An individual who strives for perfection is more likely to put off doing anything until they are completely satisfied with the outcome.

It's possible that perfectionists won't act on their ideas because they're too preoccupied with getting everything just right.

Resisting challenges

Avoiding failure by never taking on anything new or difficult is another option. Those who struggle with perfectionism are often trapped by the fear of failure and never take action to pursue their objectives.

Fear of failure and criticism can cause people to give up or not even attempt when faced with any difficulty. When you're up against an obstacle, it might be hard to understand the point in persisting. The fear of being rejected by others is crippling.

Since it prevents you from actively seeking out the challenges that enable you to develop, perfectionism keeps you stagnant in your career, life, and relationships.

Lack of confidence

An rigorous work ethic fueled by a desire for perfection is possible. This explains why many people who strive for perfection also excel in positions of leadership. No matter how successful they appear to others to be, they will never be able to live up to the standards they have set for themselves.

Perfectionists, even those who appear to have it all together, struggle with low self-esteem.

If you struggle with perfectionism, it will be difficult to attain success and much harder to appreciate it after you are there. Depression and anxiety are only two of the mental health conditions that might result from this.

Have You Fallen Into The Ideal Cage?

Just for a moment, picture yourself staring down a mile of open water from which you want to swim. You charge on, full of assurance and strength, on the path toward your objective.

The first few minutes go very quickly, but then you start to feel yourself slow down. They yell from the boat, "Unlatch the fanny pack!" and you obey their command. You unbuckle your belt and let it fall to the floor.

Rocks filled it to capacity.

When you finally let go of that burden, how do you feel?

Negative, self-limiting beliefs are a direct result of perfectionist tendencies. Many people become caught in the "Perfect Trap" while swimming toward their ambitions.

It's possible for perfectionism to lurk in your way of thinking. One of the symptoms is trying to do, be, and take on too much at once.

Throughout the past seven years of working with customers, I've noticed that around 65 out of every 100 business owners and entrepreneurs are caught in the "Perfect Trap."

I'm willing to guess that everyone on the planet falls into this trap at some point. Many participants are unaware of their participation, and as a result, they undermine their own productivity and happiness on the job.

Answer the following questions with a yes or no to see if you are unknowingly limiting yourself by falling into the "ideal trap:"

  1. Do you frequently feel like nothing you do is adequate?

  2. Do you seldom feel content with your finished tasks and work?

  3. Do you frequently convince yourself that you are less-than-perfect human beings when you make mistakes?

  4. Do you put off doing things because you'd rather not fail at them?

  5. Do you frequently encounter the advice that you should stop getting in the way of your own success?

  6. Feel like you're trying to fit too much into your schedule? Do you, in other words, have loftier aims than the hours and days at your disposal will allow?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you could feel like you're carrying around extra baggage.

We'll refer to this as a quest for perfection in terms of body weight.

How to Stop Struggling for Perfection

Wisdom — with the term "perfectionism" wiped out — on a road sign.

Is there a treatment for perfectionist tendencies?

Certainly, fighting perfectionism may be very difficult and painful. But don't let your perfectionism-related worry keep you down.

The following methods may help you conquer perfectionism:

Don't forget the price of excellence.

Realize that striving for perfection is like trying to swim while carrying a heavy load of pebbles. You will inevitably incur costs along the road.

You will either become too tired or your entire field of vision will become distorted. Physical and mental health problems might be a result.

Divide large projects into manageable chunks

We must be practical in our long-term goal setting. What I mean is to slice up the big picture into more manageable pieces.

As you do more and more with this method, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. You don't have to wait to feel fulfilled before you enjoy each success.

Try out new ways of doing things on different levels.

If you want to break free of a rut you're in, letting rid of an unattainable goal, task, or standard will help.

Give yourself permission to be pleased with a decent grade rather than a perfect grade. Strive for excellence rather than perfection.

You can even give yourself permission to slack off occasionally. Then you may cross that job off your list.

Celebrate any and all successes, no matter how minor

Movement in any direction is development. This merits acknowledgement. Taking the time to recognize and appreciate any form of advancement is like loading our bags with jet fuel instead of pebbles.

Once a task is completed, there is a period of relative calm during which other opportunities present themselves. The act of celebrating a victory is an opportunity to sow the seeds of future achievement.

Treat yourself kindly.

Self-criticism does not lead to improvement, and self-compassion does not make you weak. Self-compassion has been shown to be more helpful than self-criticism in several studies.

You may let go of the concept that punishing oneself is necessary for personal drive. Do yourself a favor and be your own best friend.

Methods for Conquering Perfection

Taking stock of your perfectionism might help you identify unhealthy thought habits and replace them with more productive alternatives.

These are some of the ways your pursuit of perfection may be holding you back:

  • Needing to be correct all the time

  • Needing to win all the time

  • Having the last word or achieving success at the expense of others

  • Needing to micromanage everything

  • Putting a value judgment on your every action

  • extreme self-doubt and second-guessing

  • Thinking on the worst-case scenarios, or what may go wrong

Instead, provide yourself some independence:

  • In order to err

  • Taking chances

  • To act on a whim

  • To believe in one's own abilities

  • Avoid thinking in absolute terms. When you have to decide between ideal and unacceptable, you're certain to feel frustrated.

When faced with a decision between A and B, it's easy to neglect the possibility of a third, fourth, or even fifth option.

Do not forget that you are not alone in this.

Keep your wits about you, but know that you are not alone (even if your perfectionism says you should be able to).

Having supportive friends and family can help you let go of your demand for perfection and dive headfirst into life's adventures. Have a close circle of people around you who will encourage you and rejoice with you as you reach milestones along the way.

You can enroll in one of our program to learn more about the obstacles in your way and how to overcome them.

There are many twists and turns in the road of life. The road to happiness begins when you release your need for perfection and open yourself up to new experiences.

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