10 Ways To Overcome Perfectionism

Have you ever spent hours creating something but then never followed through with it? Instead of just going for it and putting your work out there, you continue to make changes, altering, tweaking, because it’s just not quite…. Perfect?

Do you have an fear of failure? That it’s not going to work out? Do you worry about what other people might think about your choices? Does your self-confidence depend on your accomplishments?

Have you ever tried to live up to the ideals you see on Instagram and blogs? Thinking your house needs to be impeccable, your hair, makeup and clothes need to be completely on trend, or the worst - you need to be that certain weight?

If you can relate to any of these, then you may be suffering from perfectionism.

Ahh to have a perfect life. Would be great right? But guess what, just like unicorns, it doesn’t exist (sorry to burst your bubble….about unicorns I mean….not sorry about the other one)

So what can we do if we feel like perfectionism is holding us back? Well we have searched the writings of the internet great scholars of this world and have come up with these tips to help you to move forward.

  1. Set realistic goals. If you really want to make progress in your business (and in your life) then you can’t burn yourself out. In order to do that, set goals that don’t stretch you too far. Make sure you don’t have to stay up until 4 in the morning to finish a task and then survive with little to no sleep. Outsource your tasks or give yourself more time. Or better yet, say to yourself that ‘good is good enough’ and move on to the next thing.

  2. Make baby steps - strive for continuous improvement rather than perfectionism. When we’re feeling the weight of attaining perfectionism it can be debilitating and the best way to shake it off is to make small steps of progress that we can be proud of. Maybe it’s completing one social media post or signing up for a course, whatever it is, it will boost serotonin in your brain because you accomplished something. And progress is better than perfection.

  3. Identify the ‘must haves’ from the ‘nice to haves’. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that we must have the huge office with the fancy desk, or the newest on-trend coat - but more often than not, we really don’t need them. Recognizing that these are not absolutely necessities will help us to stop feeling so stressed out about trying to achieve them. Placing them in the category of ‘nice to haves’ takes them out of your pressure zone and allows you to focus on the most important tasks at the moment.

  4. Recognize the mirage of social media. It’s not real life!!!! I repeat, it’s NOT REAL!! You cannot compare your life against someone else's highlight reel. We all know that people only post the aspects of their lives they want to share, and more often than not, they post things that they are proud of - a flattering photo, a vacation, a nice meal. And those ‘influencers’ with HUGE followings? Well the majority of their feeds are filled with professional photo shoots and they often have a team of people helping to plan them. So take a deep breath. Love your messy hair and chipped nails or whatever else is bothering you, and realize, everyone else’s lives probably look like that most of the time too.

  5. Accept that you will never be finished. Ooh this one is hard for me to swallow. Do you ever feel like it’s one thing after the next? That your to-do list NEVER ENDS? Well guess what… it never ends. (Feel free to have a little cry right now) It’s true. That’s life. Perfect doesn’t exist, there is always more you can do, and there will always be another thing coming. The sooner we can come to terms with that, the sooner we will be able to float with the ebb and flow of life rather than fight against it.

  6. Enjoy the journey. See the above? Yep, might as well laugh, learn from our mistakes and know that life is a crazy ride. Try to get joy from the small steps along the way and take the time to appreciate how far you’ve come already.

  7. Loosen up your standards. This is probably the most important one. Sometimes what we think we ‘should’ (that dreaded word) be or do, is what holds us back. And while it’s good to have standards, and good to visualize success, make sure that they are not stressing you out and ultimately holding you back. Make compromises - want to achieve financial freedom? Well how about 5000 a month rather than 10,000. Once you reach that goal, you can reevaluate but don’t stress yourself out thinking you have to reach a bar that’s too high.

  8. Replace negative thought patterns. Watch our motivational monday video with quotes about overcoming perfectionism and put them up on your mirror. Ie) “good is good enough”, “strive for progress, not perfection”. Reminding yourself that you don’t need to beat yourself up about having everything tied in a neat little bow will help you to just focus on doing the best you can.

  9. Look at the big picture. Seems obvious but sometimes we can be so deep into our project that we forget to take a step back. That blog post you’ve been perfecting for the last week - is it REALLY that important? Will you even remember it five years from now? If you did make a mistake, will you remember that either? Probably not. Imagine yourself looking back on your life remembering the things that really mattered.That will help give you perspective.

  10. Appreciate what you are. Take a moment right now to list five things you are really proud of. What have you accomplished lately (big or small)? As perfectionists it’s easy to always focus on what wasn’t perfect - but how about we focus on the good (not the perfect) but the GOOD things about ourselves. You have made progress just by reading this post.

Hope this gave you a few tips to help you on your journey. We are so proud of you and would love to hear your stories of overcoming perfectionism in the comments section below.

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Gillian Harvey