Struggling with Perfectionism

If you’re like many people, you may have a difficult time accepting when things aren’t perfect.

For instance, have you ever found yourself up late at night because the project had to be done “just so?”

Or, do you have trouble delegating to others at work?

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself?”

The problem is that you wind up taking on way too much than you need to. In fact, perfectionism just causes even more stress in your life.

If you want to get the upper hand on perfectionism, consider these ideas.

1. Be Mindful of Catastrophic Thinking

Catastrophic thinking occurs when you believe that something will go terribly wrong. Consistently blowing things out of proportion, you may believe that you will get into trouble or fail miserably.

Concentrating on a work project, for example, you may worry that if there’s one minor flaw in the project, everything will go wrong. In fact, you may even believe that you will reprimanded or fired because of the “flaw.”

Of course, employers do require a high level of work from their employees. Yet, if you make a mistake, are you really going to get into serious trouble?

Countering the catastrophic thinking narrative can help you beat perfectionism.

2. Give Yourself Firm Deadlines

Another time when perfectionism can be especially damaging is while you’re actually working on the project.

For some, they spend so much time worrying about every small detail in their work that they actually miss the deadline!

It does you no good to fret over every little aspect of your work if it doesn’t get turned in on time. That’s why holding yourself to firm deadlines is helpful.

It helps to hold you accountable, keeping you focused on completing your work. Otherwise, you could spend forever spinning your wheels over every little aspect of the project.

3. Learn How to Accept Feedback

A big problem for those struggling with perfectionism is being able to accept constructive feedback. Mostly it’s because that it’s just so unbearable to consider that you had even made the tiniest mistake.

In fact, if you hear constructive feedback you may be tempted to push back. Rather than hear the feedback and reflect on it, you become defensive.

This makes it really hard to improve yourself and grow.

Let’s face it, nobody does anything perfectly. When someone provides constructive feedback, kindly remind yourself that’s what they’re supposed to do. Especially in a work environment, feedback from colleagues or supervisors is important for your professional success.

If it’s coming from your partner, remind yourself that they care for you and love you. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be taking the time to provide the feedback.

4. Practice Self-Forgiveness

Oftentimes, those who struggle with perfectionism have a hard time forgiving themselves if they make a mistake.

Perhaps this comes from an inner feeling of shame or embarrassment. That is, by making a mistake there is somehow something intrinsically “wrong” with them.

Far from reality! The truth is that everyone makes mistakes. It’s normal.

If you have trouble with this, take a moment to breathe and relax. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. However, those mistakes are not a reflection of who you are as a person or your character.

Instead, learn to forgive yourself, learn from those mistakes, and move on.

Perfectionists are often very driven and motivated. Yet, the problem is that perfectionism restricts room for personal growth because it doesn’t allow for mistakes.

Some of the best lessons in life are learned from taking a risk and failing. Plus, perfectionism can slow you down at work or make it difficult to hear feedback.

But, you can beat perfectionism by being aware of it, being open to feedback, and forgiving yourself tool.

If perfectionism is holding you back, I would like to help. Please contact me today at 563-213-5100.


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