5 Steps to Overcome Perfectionism

Is there even a need to overcome perfectionism at all? Once you realize it’s more of a double-edged sword, then yes it is.

Striving for perfection pushes you to reach for the stars and accomplish big things. It might not always be a bad thing, but can also affect your life in a bad way by fostering worry and discontent. 

If you want to keep up your mental well-being, you’ll need to know how to balance always wanting things to be perfect and giving it your all on your daily duties. Here are some steps that can help you achieve that balance.

Recognize the Signs of Perfectionism

The first step toward overcoming perfectionism lies in identifying its presence within yourself. 

Perfectionists often establish unattainably high standards, berate themselves harshly for any errors, and view situations in stark, uncompromising terms. 

You might notice hesitation creeping in because of a fear of not achieving perfection, or perhaps you avoid initiating projects altogether. 

Keeping a journal on you can be beneficial. Jot down instances where the need for perfection arises and ponder over how these thoughts influence your actions and emotions.

Challenge Your Perfectionist Thoughts

Once you recognize your perfectionist tendencies, the next step involves challenging them. 

Question your standards. Find out if they are possible to do in the first place and whether they advance or impede your progress. 

For example, when you start thinking “I need to get everything right the first time” try to counter it with the idea of “mistakes I make are just stepping stones for doing it better next time.” 

This is all about checking if your thoughts make sense and swapping them for more practical ones. Remember, aiming for the best is different from demanding perfection.

Embrace Imperfection 

Perfectionism feeds on the fear of failure and not being perfect. To beat it, you need to accept that not everything needs to be perfect.

Realize that making mistakes is a part of life. Stumbling here and there is a learning experience that helps us grow. 

Change how you see failure. Instead of thinking it means you’re not good enough, see it as a step toward success. Be nice to yourself and remember, everyone messes up sometimes, and that’s fine.

Set Realistic Goals

To overcome perfectionism, you need to set goals you can reach. 

Break big tasks into smaller bits and give each one a deadline. This makes things less overwhelming and feels good when you finish each part. 

Focus on what’s important and urgent. Aim for progress, not perfection. Doing tasks in a reasonable time is better than putting out the perfect output, and it helps you keep moving forward without stressing.

Get Help 

Beating perfectionism can be tough, but you don’t have to do it alone. 

Talk to friends, family, or pros who know about mental health. Talking about your perfectionism can give you new ideas and make you feel less alone. 

Mental health professionals can give you a few tips for helping you cope like CBT or mindfulness. Groups can also help you feel like you’re not the only one dealing with this stuff.

Overcoming perfectionism takes time, self-awareness, and effort. If you spot perfectionist habits, challenge them, accept not being perfect, set doable goals, and get as much support as you can.

You’ll make big strides toward feeling better. Celebrate what makes you perfect, but don’t forget to extend kindness to yourself along the way by embracing your flaws too.

For more handy guides on routines that improve your state of mental well-being, visit us at Mid Cities Psychiatry and we would be happy to tell you more!

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