When there’s a will, there’s a way. How to overcome perfectionism?

It’s great when someone demands a lot from him or herself, that way being really motivated to grow and excel. However, when standards set for oneself and the society are way too high, this sort of perfectionism needs to be dealt with. Let’s talk about how to actually do it.

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How to overcome perfectionism?

The most important thing in overcoming excessive perfectionism is acknowledging the problem. Unfortunately, very often a perfectionist refuses to see it, denying the very existence of the issue.
First and foremost, a perfectionist needs to realize only a dozen things:

1. Our world is far from perfect. And this, as a matter of fact, is part of its charm. It cannot be changed by one person alone. Fortunately, there is no need for it either. No man is an island, as is well known.

2. Chasing after an ideal can end up costing you too dearly. You should never abandon the goal set only because the hypothetical result may not turn out to be perfect.

3. You must always keep in mind their achievements. Especially when something seems to be turning out differently from what  you expected. Whenever you start painting the world black, make sure to remind yourself that life is filled with things capable of inspiring optimism. It might be a good idea to start a journal to keep score of your progress and success.

4. Every medal has its reverse, just in the same way as any failure comes with positive moments. You just need to be able to spot them. Learn to see the positive in any negative. Our life is filled with many pleasant moments, which, unfortunately, we do not always notice. Make a point of focusing on them. Always keep in mind that the same glass can be half empty and half full.

5. You can’t possibly please everyone. It’s important to realize that you have already reached the age when you can afford not to depend on the opinions of others and do what you think is necessary. The fact is, there aren’t that many people in the world whose opinion is truly valuable and important to you. And those people value your personal qualities, such as kindness, emotional generosity, diligence, responsibility and sense of humor, above your achievements.

6. Try not to compare yourself to others, no matter how tempted you might be. Stop yourself when you once again start criticizing your own actions. Each of us is unique, and unique things can’t possibly be compared. Write down all your strong points and place the note where you can see it to always be reminded how unique and special you are.

7. Avoid chasing after everything at once – select a priority direction to move in at this point in your life. By defining your priorities, you will achieve a lot more, step by step.

8. Do not set big goals, breaking them up into smaller and more realistic ones instead. That way you will be able to achieve the desired result without wasting your time and energy.

9. Learn to delegate. This will save you time, letting your focus and complete the tasks at hand better. If the person you delegated a task  or a responsibly to did not live up to your expectations 100%, you can jump in any time to make the necessary adjustments.

10. Even an imperfect result does not mark the end of the world. Any mistake is a lesson that will help to avoid bigger defeats. Any failure is a springboard for achieving new goals. This, as a matter of fact, is something we already discussed (ссылка на пост об ошибках и неудачах).

11. Perfection does not equal success. It’s important not to let this important fact out of your sight while chasing an ideal. You need to realize that the very pursuit of success is what truly counts.

12. Keep in mind that best is the enemy of good. In some cases, even too good is already bad, because this kind of ideal is no longer genuinely unique. Only a soulless robot can do a flawless job. It’s typical of people to be less than perfect and do things the same imperfect way. Otherwise that something making the end result special and unique is completely lost.
Finally, try revisiting the system you are using to evaluate the results. That way, there is a good chance you will be able to overlook the little imperfections, seeing the final results as satisfactory.

Is there a positive side to perfectionism?

Perfectionism is useful in a way, until the moment it turns into an obsession. For instance, a perfectionist employee is a terrific find for any boss. Not only are such people assertive and responsible, they are also demanding of others.

In short, perfectionism that promotes growth is useful, as it helps the person grow and excel in their career. The most important thing is to know when to stop in order to avoid becoming prisoner to your own misconceptions.  Then and only then will the world get bright with color again and any goals set will stop being unattainable.

As a matter of fact, quite often perfectionism is equated with black-and-white thinking. Meanwhile, these are quite different concepts. We will discuss the peculiarities of black-and-white thinking next time.