9 Tips for Overcoming Perfectionism


Wanting to do a “good” job is different than wanting to do a “perfect” job. Losing sleep over small mistakes is a good sign that you may struggle with perfectionism. Although this trait can lead you to success, it can also lead to tremendous failure.

Here are some ways to help you avoid the pitfalls that perfection.

1. Get Some Perspective.
Make a list of all the things that went right with a project. Then make a list of the things that went wrong. By seeing how insignificant the mistakes happened to be, it becomes easier to gain a new perspective on the outcome obtained.

2. Set Deadlines.
One trait that perfectionists tend to share is procrastination. That leads to incomplete projects and a lot of wasted time. Set a specific deadline for yourself to stay focused on specific tasks. Then have the discipline to switch tasks when your time is up.

3. Plan for the Unexpected.
The world can be an unpredictable place. Every outcome has a certain level of uncertainty to it. You cannot plan for everything. You can, however, make plans to adapt to the unexpected, shout it occur.

4. Purge Social Media.
Modern social media can be a toxic environment. If there are posts that make you feel inadequate or unloved, then get rid of that stuff. It doesn’t need to be on your feeds. Eliminate notifications at the very least. You may even find that unfriending or unfollowing some people will reduce the stress you feel.

5. Challenge Yourself.
Make small mistakes on purpose to eliminate the idea that you are perfect. Arrive a little bit late to a social gathering. Let a mess sit around for a day or so. Put typos into your emails. You’ll discover that a small mistake isn’t the end of the world.

6. Reward Yourself.
Perfectionists tend to heavily criticize themselves. That leads to low levels of self-esteem. Try rewarding yourself for your accomplishments instead, even if all you achieve is a small goal.

7. Get a Second Opinion.
If you feel like a self-critique is an honest evaluation of your performance, then get a second opinion. There’s a good chance that you performed a lot better than you think you did.

Perfectionism can help you strive to be better. It can also cause you to focus on every small failure instead of your many successes. Use these ideas and seek out support to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism.