How to Stop Being a Perfectionist (Step-by-Step Guide)

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An outstanding attitude to work and the desire to achieve excellence are two ways that perfection could manifest in the life of a person with it. On the other hand, could cause overwork and excessive overextension.

Burnout is a result of having to put in too much effort and accomplish more than your job demands. Overachievement and perfectionism are the most common reasons for burnout. They can affect your work performance and your mental well-being.

While being perfect is the ideal most people want to achieve, however, there are pitfalls that come with being overly focused on it. You should learn to live things a bit easier and not be so focused to do things correctly that you begin losing your peace of head over it. Be more flexible.

Therefore, it is crucial to know when it is time to end the obsession with perfection and when to cut yourself off. This article is written for you if you’re seeking ways to get rid of being a perfectionist and allow time and respect for yourself.

What Is Perfectionism?

The dictionary defines perfection in the sense of “the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.” A study defines this in terms of “an irrational desire to achieve along with being overly critical of oneself and others.”  Perfectionists have the unending need to be able to satisfy one’s standards or those of others for themselves.

Refusal. Irrational. Unrelenting. These words are difficult for anyone who has to endure each day. The reason for these feelings is due to the deep-seated fear and the belief that you won’t be good enough.

Author and speaker Brene Brown speak Oprah’s Lifeclass.

“When perfectionists are driving shame always rides with a shotgun, while anxiety is the nagging backseat driver. …. [perfectionism] is “a way of thinking…if I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, do it perfectly, I can avoid or minimize shame, criticism, blame, judgment, or ridicule…perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we carry around hoping it will keep us from being hurt. In reality, it prevents us from being judged.”

How do you use your perfectionist tendencies to use them for good? What can you do to recognize your passion, ambition, and drive and avoid excessive stress, frustration, and discomfort?

How to Stop Being a Perfectionist in 9 Steps

If it’s getting at the expense of your mental health or relationships at work and in your personal life It’s time that you stop focusing on perfection. Here are nine ways that you can make the process and cease being an unhealthy perfectionist.

1. Acknowledge

Recognizing your thoughts, habits, and habits is the first step to overcoming perfectionism. Take note of the way you feel about perfection and take time to think about your thoughts. Are you looking to explore ways you can stop striving for perfection?

You might even want to record these thoughts to help you understand these thoughts better. We’ll be better equipped to fight our tendency towards perfectionist thinking when we are more aware of how we speak with ourselves regarding it.

2. Understand

Additionally, understanding the reasons you test yourself to the max is vital to understand how to not be an idealist. If it’s not serving your inner Self, perfectionism serves an aspect of you, just like in every other behavior.

It’s a powerful mix of fear (such as “what are the consequences if I do the wrong answer ?… it must be perfect or otherwise …”) and excitement (“if I succeed I’ll be a success …”) it’s a win for me. In addition, the absence of self-confidence can be a contributing factor.

It’s fine if do not know how to avoid being an idealist. There’s a first time for everything. One of the first steps to getting rid of your obsession with perfection is to recognize the beliefs that drive your desire to be such. Your beliefs and the ones you choose to feed are completely dependent on you.

A lot of people want to be perfect in order to satisfy the desire for affection or to boost their self-esteem. The behavior of perfectionists stems from fear of being dismissed. 

Take Action:

Think about what drives you to be perfect. Understanding why you’re a perfectionist, regardless of how hard or uncomfortable it gets – is bound to be beneficial in the way you want to.

3. Identify Consequences

According to an article, perfectionists may cause poor productivity, troubled relationships, a lack of confidence and self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideas. The dedication to which you are proud can be expensive. When you realize and acknowledge the consequences of your perfectionist attitude and your thoughts are triggered, it encourages you to act.

The psychology behind perfection is a subject that has been thoroughly studied and revealed to be a bit complicated. While perfectionists strive to achieve excellence, they also have more motivation and discipline than non-perfectionists.

They tend to have high and unrealistic expectations of themselves and the work they do to be self-critical of their actions and think that their self-worth is based on their capacity to do their job well. The best way to break out from this cycle is to adopt proactive measures to conquer perfection.

They could also have an attitude of all-or-nothing about their performance, believing that they only deserve applause if they do their job flawlessly. According to research from Harvard, study Perfectionism is more likely to suffer from excessive anxiety, stress, and anxiety.

Take Action:

Find three negative consequences of perfectionist thinking in your work, personal life, and health. Also, consider your relationships with others.

4. Know You Are Enough

The inability of perfectionists to accept their flaws and those of others leads to their desire for perfectionist behavior, which can hinder the process of letting go.

Being patient is the best way to accept yourself and encourage oneself to stop trying to be perfect. It is important to speak with yourself in a way that makes you feel like a good-hearted friend about your strengths and weaknesses.

Try to praise yourself for the little achievements you have made instead of feeling dissatisfied with everything you’ve yet to accomplish.

Your new mantra is: Progress over perfect

Take Action:

Recognize your achievements, skills, and strengths. Note three things that you are good at and three things that you are proud of every day, for the next 30 days. Personality traits (kind and caring, persevering) Strengths (writing or speaking, your job) daily or even lifetime achievements are examples.

5. Do Your Best Every Day

In the case of people who are highly successful in the pursuit of goals, pursuing an objective may be equally thrilling as the achievement in itself. It’s not the same for perfectionists who have a goal in the mind.

In the end, they don’t understand the process of growing and learning because they’re obsessed with the end result and avoidance of failing that the process of mastering the art of overcoming the obstacles to perfection becomes essential.

It is evident that there’s a significant link between toxic perfectionists and adolescents. According to studies, college students who are subject to high expectations tend to be obsessed with perfection but at the expense of their health.

In the event of overworking yourself, you could feel exhausted quickly and hinder your growth process further. It is therefore vital to take a moment to take a break and think about the actions we take and the results.

A stoic, perfectionist attitude can cause you to dismiss relaxation as an unnecessary waste of time. Relaxation and leisure activities are, in fact, crucial for recharging your physical and mental batteries and renewing your passion. A healthy balance between work and life is vital to reach your goals.

Take Action:

You might ask yourself, “Did I do the best I could [with what I had, with what I knew]?” Next moment you are feeling resentful over something you’ve said or done poorly.

Let go, get moving, and make use of your time and energy to improve things next time, if you can answer yes.

6. Switch

Many perfectionists like to think this is the practice of constantly contemplating an issue or idea and never finding an answer. Anxiety can play a role.

Ruminators tend to be more tolerant of themselves. This is bad for your health and is detrimental. It’s not about ruminating. It’s about solving. In the alternative, look at ways of breaking the chains.

Be aware of your thoughts about an event that has occurred in the past, for example, an exchange with a colleague. It’s possible that you don’t know the situation because you’re not sure how to quit trying to be the best.

Don’t trust the thoughts of your mind that ruminate on you because you are prone to be averse to negative thoughts. Allow yourself to gather your thoughts before you decide what to do. As humans, it’s possible that things are “blown out of proportion.”

It is usually ideal to only spend 30 minutes working on a simple but essential task to break the cycle of stress-inducing events and avoid getting exhausted.

Why not substitute your desire for perfection with something richer and more important?

Take Action:

Change your perspective and discover what is the most for you. Perhaps, the desire for purpose, compassion satisfaction, joy, and love could be able to replace your desire for perfection. What resonates with you most?

7. Embrace Failure

If things don’t go according to plan, perfectionists often aren’t able to accept the situation. Even if something doesn’t go as planned it can be difficult to accept the fact that it’s not perfect.

High achievers, as opposed to perfectionists, are less afraid of failing. The idea of failing is terrifying for them because they place so much importance on the results they achieve and are dissatisfied with anything that isn’t perfection. It’s also hard, to begin with, something new since anything less than perfect is considered failing.

While it’s not our responsibility to decide the result of our work, we are within our control to take the lessons learned from our mistakes and build an attitude that allows us to succeed in the face of failure.

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor believed that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Oprah Winfrey was told that she wasn’t “unfit for television.” In her words, Michael Jordan:

“I’ve failed to miss more than 9000 shots during my entire career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I’ve been entrusted to make the shot that won the game and failed. I’ve failed repeatedly and over in my entire life. This is the reason I’m successful.”

There will be a lot of failures throughout your life, especially if are constantly learning and striving (which you definitely are). There will be mistakes, you’ll screw up, and disappoint others.

Be aware that you made an error, however, you’re not the one to blame when it occurs.

8. Celebrate Imperfection

A lot of people’s perception of value and achievement can be measured by their achievements However, focusing only on the end result may make us forget about the process.

Have you always wanted to take on a new challenge Do it not just to prove you’re skilled at it or desire to please other people? It’s possible to improve it in the future however the time to acknowledge and learn from mistakes will never come back.

Concentrating on the process relieves some of the pressure of getting to a point. It’s not just about whether you succeed but also if getting recognized for your effort. Even if the outcome isn’t perfect, there are certain things that are worthwhile to do.

In the cult 1937 book on personal development, “Think and Grow Rich written by Napoleon Hill, Napoleon talks about his son Blair who suffered from an anomaly at his birth. Blair was born without physical evidence of hearing and was born deaf or mute. 

“His disability was not a disadvantage, but a valuable asset,” Napoleon claimed. He was of the opinion in the principle that “every misfortune contains the germ of an equal gain.”

9. Step Back

If you want to reach a destination that is worth pursuing it isn’t a straightforward route. It is possible to gain more clarity, perspective, and focus by simply taking the time to think. Thinking strategically and reflecting are essential to get things in order.

For each three-to-six-month period, look at where you stand. The most effective long-term strategy could involve taking a step back at the first look. Consider your career and your personal life within the context of your life in general instead of getting lost in the minutiae of your professional and personal life.

The people who have the most success focus on the present and review their short-term goals with regard to their long-term goals. People who take an intentional step back are capable of moving forward with enthusiasm. Be mindful of your long-term goals while planning your day-to-day activities.

You may think you’re a rare person who can multitask but this isn’t the situation. Do not try to handle several tasks at once. It not only takes time and effort and can cause stress that you already have lots of.

Key Takeaways

“Perfectionism represents the voice of oppression and the enemy of people. It will make you feel confined and insane for the rest of your life and is the biggest barrier between you and a poor first draft.” — Anne Lamott

It is not about attaining perfection, but rather about getting to the top as well as the unattainable lastly, the impossible by a constant striving for the highest level of perfection.

In reality, perfectionists tend to be on the path of catastrophe. Perfectionists, as per the commonly accepted definition, is the tendency to judge any deviation from perfection to be unacceptable. It is essential to discover your real reason for overcoming the urge to be perfect.

It is crucial to recognize the distinction between being a strict observer of things and being an unhealthy perfectionist. When you realize you’re on the former side, it’s time to look at your actions and make steps to recognize the ways to get rid of the perfectionist mindset and get rid of these destructive habits.


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