Why ‘Perfect’ isn’t good enough: Overcoming Perfectionism

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Are you someone who needs everything to be ‘just right’? Someone who spends a prolonged period of time on petty tasks making sure that they are perfectly done? Someone who usually finds themselves mentally or emotionally exhausted?

If you answered the above questions in the affirmative, you may identify yourself as a ‘Perfectionist’. A perfectionist simply desires to be the best in whatever they do. They set an extremely high bar for themselves and are often seen engaging in self-criticism. However, if those sky-high expectations are not met, they end up feeling frustrated and highly disappointed with themselves which in turn affects negatively their self-esteem and self-worth.

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Whether it’s with education, work, chores or in relationships, many of us have an area of life where we are total perfectionists or at least constantly seek to be one. Nevertheless, we are so focused on being ‘perfect’ that other aspects of our life and work suffer and this thin line can be really hard to twig.

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While perfectionism sounds good on the surface, striving for it leads to procrastination which ultimately decreases the level of productivity, and what’s next? Increased stress, frustration and dissatisfaction. It’s an affair that can hold you back in life from doing all the wonderful things you are capable of!

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So what do we do? Well, learn to be an imperfect perfectionist because you don’t want to drain your self-esteem and get yourself stuck in a negative spiral for life.

  • Focus on the bigger picture

Having a perfectionist tendency, one does not want to settle for anything less than the best. Take to asking yourself: Does it really require so much of time and effort? Am I being productive? Am I missing out on other important things? Learn to be less perfect about certain things and cherish other things in life. Make it count!

  • Stop drawing comparisons

When you compare yourself to somebody else, you don’t really focus on what you are doing. Eventually, it can cause you to feel distressed because there will always be someone ahead of you. Learn to compare yourself to yourself and you’ll be amazed to see how far you have come.

  • Be kind to yourself

Mistakes are a part of life. Rather than considering them as a failure, learn from them. Whenever something goes wrong, tell yourself that it’s okay and try better next time. You cannot always get it right, so accept that you have your own limitations too. Engage in positive self-talk rather than self-criticism.

  • Maintain a Journal

Jot down positive affirmations about yourself in the areas you seek to be perfect. Be sure to see them daily and monitor your progress by not being a perfectionist in those particular areas. Slowly and gradually, you will learn that it doesn’t create any major difference.

  • Give yourself a break

In a moment of stressed-out, perfection-seeking behaviour, try to do something positive for yourself. Practice relaxed breathing, read a book or take a walk if possible. Develop a positive mantra such as, “You are enough” or “Your best is enough,” and say or think the phrase in times of distress.

Once you see how less hectic, richer, healthier and calmer life could be by doing things less perfectly, the burden of being perfect would be on its way to being lifted and you will find that being good enough is really good enough.

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