How to Overcome Perfectionism

Kristen Walters

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

There is a mantra that I repeat to myself daily --

“Imperfect action is better than perfect execution.”

Perfectionism is a trait that can be found in all walks of life. It’s the desire to do something better than it has been done before. While it may not be viewed as an inherently negative character flaw by many people, perfectionists have long suffered from feeling inadequate due to their inability to achieve this idealized goal.

Perfectionism is thought to affect between 3-4% of the world’s population but has a greater impact on those who are particularly sensitive or prone to depression. Those who seek perfection embody four main traits: self-consciousness, doubts about actions, personal standards for performance, high expectations.

Perfectionism, a personality trait that is highly prevalent in the world today. And it’s not just about getting things done perfectly – it’s also about being perfect at all times. Perfect health, perfect grades, and even a perfect partner. But what happens when you strive for perfection?

Perfectionists are often overly critical of themselves and others around them, causing a great deal of unnecessary stress within relationships. While it may seem like perfectionism would be beneficial to have, this is not always true.

To understand why let's take a look at some of its characteristics.

The dictionary defines perfection as "a state of excellence, flawlessness." To some, this means that their work has to be perfect in every way - without any mistakes or errors.

However, this can often lead to procrastination and other issues like depression because it can be impossible to achieve. It's important for everyone who considers themselves a perfectionist to realize that several different types of perfectionists exist out there.

Perfectionism involves a need to be perfect and do everything right. It can manifest itself in many ways, from an addiction to cleanliness to the compulsion of checking things several times over. Despite being so common, perfectionism is often misunderstood.

Perfectionists often have high self-expectations and tend to be very hard on themselves when they don't meet their own standards.

They can also get frustrated easily if things aren’t going the way they want them to, which sometimes leads them to take out that frustration on others. Thus, it is important not only for you but also for your children to understand what a true perfectionist really is and how it affects those around him or her.

Perfection is a myth

The myth of perfectionism is that you can’t be good until you are perfect. That is just not true! It would be best if you accepted yourself and your work as it comes to you. Perfectionists will never be happy or satisfied with their work. They will always find something wrong with it.

It is a myth that perfectionism guarantees the best results. It would be great if it were true, but perfectionism doesn’t work in practice. The truth is most people who think they are perfectionists may actually be procrastinators with good intentions.

In a work environment, it's easy to feel the pressure. You want to be viewed as a leader, and you put so much of your time in at the office that you forget about all of the other things going on in life. It can feel impossible always to do everything perfectly when there are times when deadlines need to be met and projects need completion. But, if you're not careful, being perfect will rob you from enjoying your personal life because work is taking up too much room inside of it.

Perfectionists are rarely happy or successful

The quest for perfection can be a difficult and often futile endeavor. It's not just harmful to your success, but it can also have a significant effect on your self-esteem. Perfectionism is something that many of us suffer from to some degree. While striving for excellence is generally a good thing, becoming too obsessed with the idea of being perfect has negative side effects.

Perfectionists are rarely happy or satisfied with their work. They will always find something wrong with it.

Is it actually possible to be perfect at anything? If you’re honest with yourself, then your answer will likely be no. It seems that everyone has something they feel could have been done better or look like it could have been done differently. Besides, nothing in life will ever be 100% the way we want it, and people who set out on a mission to achieve perfection are setting themselves up for disappointment and frustration.

Perfectionists are usually highly productive individuals. They take their time to ensure that everything they do is done right. However, this attitude of striving for perfection can often lead them to become trapped in a perpetual cycle, where they make endless revisions and never finish anything at all.

Steps to Overcome Perfectionism

If you struggle with perfectionism, the first step is to recognize that it is a problem for you. The next step is to understand the roots of your perfectionism and what it means to you.

Make a list of all the ways in which perfectionism has been harmful in your life - this will help you see where it's not worth investing anymore. Learn to say, "I'm not perfect, and that's okay."

Seek support from friends or family members who can help you get through difficult times when they arise.

Take care of your mental health by practicing self-care habits like eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, spending time with friends or family members you enjoy being around, etc., as well as seeking professional help if necessary. Most of all, be gentle with yourself and avoid comparing yourself to others.

Start Taking Action Now

If you want to build mental toughness, you need to start working on overcoming perfectionism if it is an issue for you. The only way to do that is to start taking imperfect action right now.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, don’t wait until you can afford a gym membership to get started. You can start taking action on this goal right now by taking a walk around the block or doing pushups in your living room.

In this case, you don’t have the perfect exercise and nutrition plan worked just yet, but even taking these small, simple steps has put you a little bit closer to your goal.

Small Imperfect Actions Add Up To Big Results

I believe that small imperfect actions lead to big results. Success isn’t one big, perfect action. It’s a series of small imperfect actions that add up to the result you want.

I say “imperfect” because we all fail sometimes, and it doesn’t mean we should stop taking action.

In the past, I've found that by trying to take action on all of my ideas and plans at once, I end up getting frustrated. What's more, it feels overwhelming! It turns out that taking imperfect action is a better approach because it helps me stay focused.

It's easy to say you'll take action, but it takes some level of commitment and sacrifice in reality. Take imperfect action from the start, be realistic about what you can do, not only for yourself but also for your family. Don't feel guilty if one day has more steps than another or one week is better than another - acknowledge that things don't always go according to plan.

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