Overcoming Perfectionism

What’s so wrong with being a perfectionist? Sounds like a pretty good problem to have, no? Well one problem is that perfectionists are rarely satisfied with merely a job well done. Second, they are often driven by a false belief that being perfect is a way (perhaps the only way) to achieve acceptance from others.

So overall, perfectionism is bad for your mental health. More importantly it is preventing you from enjoying your life. Here are a few ways on which you can overcome perfectionism :

  • Use physical activity for relaxation rather than competition. Are you always looking over your shoulder while exercising? There’s a reason why gym’s have mirrors and its not about getting a better workout. If you find yourself comparing your downward dog to that girl with the pale pink yoga mat, then stop. You’re here to relax and enjoy yourself remember.
  • Have a bad hair day. Yes, there is life without a hairdresser. If you spend 2 hours everyday getting ready and trying to appear perfect in the eyes of the outside world, you need to start focusing on other things! If someone has a problem with how you look, that is their issue.
  • Finish a task and leave it. Don’t fuss or edit or take it through iterations. Trust your own judgement and leave it. Contemporary workplaces might encourage overwork and perfectionism, but the reality is that stressed workers are less productive and that sometimes near enough is good enough.
  • Stop Procrastinating. Procrastination is part of being a perfectionist. Tell yourself that it is okay to take a few shortcuts to get something done and that it is better to get something started than leaving a blank page for days when you have a deadline.
  • Take Time Out. Do something that has nothing to do with being productive. Watch a stupid, funny, unedifying movie, that won’t challenge you. No, you don’t have to sequester your relaxation time into self education experiences. Yes, that’s right. Take a day off and do absolutely nothing that could be defined as productive.
  • Have compassion. Give more compliments. If you start finding things to like about other people, you may also start finding things to like about yourself. Embrace the grey area that is humanity. When someone makes a mistake, be more tolerant. Understanding and being more accepting towards others can help you take those first faltering steps towards forgiving and accepting yourself.

Seeking perfection is impossible, unsatisfying, and frustrating. On the other hand, achieving any level of progress is very doable, satisfying, and rewarding. Seeking progress instead of perfection will require setting smaller goals. Set an embarrassingly low goal, achieve it, and move on from there.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Mangee says:

    Great advice. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      I am glad you liked the article Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Item 4 is a big struggle for me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      To clarify, procrastination is not laziness. It’s more a misguided sense of activity based on a low tolerance for frustration and failure. When people perceive a higher challenge than they feel capable of, they sidestep the discomfort through diversion. Studies reveal a cognitive aspect as well: people procrastinate when they view concrete tasks in abstract terms. For example, when you delay completing a task that seems like it will take a really long time, only to realize that it took less time to do it than to think about it repeatedly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! This explains what I feel exactly!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Some sound tips….I am a master procrastinator but will in no way profess to being a perfectionist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Everyone knows that procrastination is bad. But perfectionism is fine, right? Wrong. Both are fraught with difficulty, and they tend to appear together, forming an infinite loop that can destroy your productivity and your psyche. Going with the flow of life is the only thing we can do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Procrastination can be a good thing, just because we dwell on something for a while, could give us new avenues in the longer run. I started writing my first novel in December 2015, and I procrastinated throughout but new ideas flowed and I marched on like a steam train since…but I also appreciate that it works differently for each individual mindset…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Glad procrastination was productive for you 🙂

        Like

  4. mind1976 says:

    This strikes a snare with me. I am mister perfect or better, i WAS. I used to wanted everything 100% or it was not good enough. But now i can say i am pleased if i can do it for 50% and if it doesn’t work out… fine i will try it again some day. Thank you for this one 🙂 Namasté 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      With this acceptance of our “imperfections” and the “imperfections” of others comes a level of understanding where we are better able to accept one another as our eyes and mind are opened to the fact that we are all on different paths. Just as our paths are different, so are our experiences. Thus, the things we do, the way we think, our perspectives and beliefs differ as well. And it is often these differences that make us think we are “imperfect”. But we are not “imperfect”. Each of us is amazing in our own way. Whether it’s in the form of something such as a new perspective or a valuable lesson, a unique piece of knowledge or wisdom, we each have something to offer to one another, to offer to the world. This would not be possible without all our differences and the “imperfections” that we often associate with them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  5. Kim Petitt says:

    The problem with perfection really is believing that you can obtain it. Unless you are Jesus Christ perfection is impossible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Thanks Kim. For those of us that have, it’s okay. Why not embrace our “imperfections”? Imperfection doesn’t have to be associated with a negative connotation. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t at all. Our “imperfections”, our differences, our flaws, these are the things that make us beautiful and amazing, that make us unique.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kim Petitt says:

        I struggle with being a perfectionist myself so my comment wasn’t meant to be condemenatory but to simply point out there is none perfect but Jesus. Those of us who are perfectionist spend a lot of time thinking less of ourselves quick to point the accusatory finger inward. It will help us to understand Jesus was the only person who walked the earth perfect… It’s okay to admit “I’m not perfect.” Because no one is!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        Yes no one is 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Anshika Shukla says:

    That was so nice of you to write a post on the topic of perfectionism cause it is a major burden indeed , it’s like you are already doing so much , working hard but it’s never quite enough , never going to be 100 Percent . Thinking about it even after years that I could have done that project better or that test better , that everyone’s doing better but ourselves

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      I am glad you found this post helpful Anshika. We all need to tell this to ourselves that we are perfect the way we are. It’s okay to try everyday and that is what we are expected to do, not to win everyday but to just get up and try to win :):)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for writing this post on perfectionism. For me, my perfectionism often leaves me afraid to expose who I truly am and I hide in the shadows. Sometimes perfectionist just need to take a risk and let it go. :). Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Letting go is beautiful. That is the best thing we can do as humans.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Eléct says:

    Insightful. Funny how I also have a blog I did on perfectionism a week ago

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      🙂 I am glad you liked the post.

      Like

  9. iamvhardik says:

    Wow! Procrastination is a part of trying to be a perfectionist is a thought I am coming across for the first time.
    But when I look back at myself and my interactions with people it seems plausible. How do I subconsciously tell shortcuts are okay and in what kind of situations is it not okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      People often procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing at the tasks that they need to complete. … Furthermore, certain personality traits, such as low self-esteem and low self-confidence, are associated with an increased fear of failure, which makes people who have these traits more likely to procrastinate. procrastination can be a good thing, when used strategically. “People who procrastinate carry an unfair amount of guilt. But some of the most successful people in the world are procrastinators,”

      Liked by 1 person

  10. of course like your website however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of
    your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I to find it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I will definitely come back again.
    That is why I want to share with you what motivated me to
    develop and earn money, maybe it will help someone: https://bit.ly/2ULpwNj

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.