There are times when being a perfectionist is seen as a good thing. It means you strive to always do your best, but it can also be a hindrance.
Because being a perfectionist can cause harm to yourself and your loved ones, we decided to tackle the topic of how to stop being a perfectionist in our podcast this week.
The Problem with Perfectionism
If you take perfectionism to an extreme, it means you are literally striving for everything to be 100% perfect. You can get caught up in the details and end up wasting a lot of time on something that could be completed in far less time by a non-perfectionist.
This can be a problem if you are self-employed because you won’t be able to get as much value for your time on a project. But, even in a traditional career, this perfectionism can be a problem. When you get stuck in these little details, not only are you hindering your productivity, but you can be holding up your co-workers too.
Plus, being a perfectionist also means you tend to expect those around you to hold up to your “perfect” standards, which is nearly impossible. Not every one is driven to strive for perfection, and when you expect that of others, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
The bottom line is that nothing will ever be 100% perfect, so striving for perfectionism is striving for failure.
How to Stop Being a Perfectionist
Stopping your perfectionism is easier said than done, but it is something you can work toward.
Put Things in Perspective
One of the best ways to stop being a perfectionist is to put things in perspective. When you find yourself caught up in the details, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will this ever truly be perfect?
- Will there be a negative consequence for it not being perfect?
- Is it “good enough”?
- How much better can it really get if I continue to stress over the details?
These questions can help you put things into perspective and hopefully realize that the law of diminishing returns definitely applies to projects you are striving to make “perfect”.
Another way to stop being a perfectionist is to realize when it’s time to step away from a project and actually do it!
Give yourself a break, or focus on something else you need to complete. When you come back to your project later, you’ll likely find that the work you’ve completed is good enough. In fact, it may even be better than your clients, employers, etc. were expecting already.
Stepping away and coming back to a project later can give you a fresh perspective on something.
The bottom line to remember is there’s truly no such thing as perfect.
In this episode we discuss:
- 1:10 – Have you always been a perfectionist?
- 2:45 – What are some of the drawbacks of being a perfectionist and having high standards?
- 7:10 – How perfectionism can hurt other people in your life
- 18:05 – How to give yourself some grace as a perfectionist
- 23:40 – Don’t celebrate the “small” wins, celebrate every win!
- 23:50 – There’s no such thing as perfect. Striving for perfectionism is striving for failure.
- 26:50 – Learning to embracing the imperfect and embracing failure
Related Links to Check Out:
- Why You Shouldn’t Skimp on Self-Care
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
- You can also listen to the audio book for FREE with a 30 day trial of Audible.com!
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