Are you a perfectionist? Do you always work to do your absolute best in everything that you do?
Do setbacks feel like huge personal failures? I once was.
Sure I excelled in many areas of my life, but often times still saw myself as a failure. Why? Because things were not perfect; everything was not aligned as they should have been. I was holding myself to standards that were unrealistic. Instead of focusing in on the big picture and seeing all that was going well I focused on small flaws. There were many times where I would not do something because I felt that it would not be perfect. This was and is no way to live.
If you are a perfectionist and find yourself not doing certain things or constantly unhappy with the way things in your life are going, there are steps that you can take to break free of this mindset.
- Break things down. When you are working on any one project do not look at the final picture as being perfect, think about how well everything fits together. Place your focus on each individual step and not the final outcome. Remember you can only climb steps one foot a time.
- Drop All-or-nothing thinking. This way of thinking is unproductive because it only allows for two possibilities. But reality isn’t binary. Computers rely on binary reasoning, but that’s because computers lack the ability to feel.
- Give people around you a break. The more slack you give others, the easier you can be on yourself. Everyone has unique skills and talents. Keep in mind that your friends, family, and loved ones can do many things better than you. However, it’s also likely that you excel in areas your peers struggle with.
- Embrace your sense of humor. Nothing defuses perfectionism like a healthy sense of humor. Cultivate the ability to laugh at yourself, and start to see beyond a single viewpoint. If you can find the humor in your failure, you can analyze it objectively and learn from it.
As you grow and learn, you will realize that the results you get are a combination of lessons learned from things that went well as well as those that didn’t. Remember that reaching perfection is not perfect, but you can aspire to always do your best and be great in your own way.
Life isn’t perfect and neither are you. Give yourself permission to let go of your perfectionist ways. Take action today by using these tips to create measurable changes in your life. You’ll be happy you did.