5 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

With the right strategies, you can overcome perfectionism and open yourself up to life’s unexpected opportunities.

Apr 29, 2020

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Life gives you so many unexpected opportunities. Sometimes we just have to reach out and grab them. You never know until you take the chance. After all, it’s better to try and fail than never to try at all. 

But sometimes we get in our way. Perfectionists, who are always trying to achieve the perfect outcome,  get so caught up in the need to be perfect that they often never attempt to pursue goals at all out of a deep fear of failure

But perfection is an unattainable goal. Striving for this can lead to procrastination, resisting challenges, and low self-esteem

Do you often feel like what you do is never quite good enough? Do you feel unsatisfied once you have completed a project? Do you push yourself to do a job perfectly? Do you put off tasks out of fear of failure? Do people often tell you that you should get out of your own way? If you answered yes to some of these questions, you probably struggle with perfectionism from time to time. 

The good news is that you don’t have to live your life suffering from perfectionism. With the right strategies, you can overcome the need to be perfect and live a life of happiness. When trying to overcome perfection, consider the following strategies for a better outlook:

Self-Awareness
Overcoming perfectionism starts with understanding yourself and recognizing patterns of perfectionism. Notice which situations trigger you to put pressure on yourself to strive for perfection. When you recognize patterns of perfectionism, you will learn to release those habits over time. 

Break down goals into smaller tasks
When setting out to accomplish big dreams, we need to be realistic. Break up goals into smaller steps. That way, you will feel satisfied as you complete each step. You don’t have to accomplish everything to feel happy. You can celebrate along the way as you work toward your goals.

Experiment with trying things at different levels
What if you just tried something for the sake of enjoying it, even if you didn’t do it very well? You don’t need to do everything perfectly. Give yourself the satisfaction of doing something just to give it a try. You might even do a "good enough" job once in a while, just to prove that you can do it.

Allow yourself to make mistakes
Don’t beat yourself up every time you make a mistake. Remember that mistakes provide an opportunity to grow. When things don’t go as planned, ask yourself what you can learn from the situation. Enjoy the learning process along the way rather than striving to arrive at what you think is your perfect destination.

Celebrate every accomplishment
Rather than focusing on what you’ve done wrong, celebrate what you’ve done right! When you recognize your accomplishments, no matter how small, it adds fuel to your fire. Take the time to congratulate yourself for small wins. This will set you along a path for further success.

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.