Five Ways to Overcome Perfectionism


“Perfect” sounds good, maybe great, but it’s highly overrated.  In fact, it actually keeps us from realizing the peace and happiness we want in life.  Here are five tips that you might consider to free yourself from the self-criticism and frustration that accompanies perfectionism and instead lead you to confidence, creativity, and greater satisfaction.

Understand what perfection is. In a sense, everything is perfect as it is, and at the same time, nothing in the Universe or life is perfect from our ego’s standpoint.  Once you internalize this difference, you can relax and embark on a journey of improvement and progress.  Life, after all, is only a journey and not a destination with us constantly experiencing change and making adjustments.  Enjoy that journey – it is uniquely yours!

Give yourself permission to blunder and “fail.” Though you will begin to realize that there is no true failure when you embrace life as a journey, once you learn to forgive yourself and loosen up, you open up all kinds of new avenues for creativity, expansion, and happiness.

Take a daily inventory of your accomplishments and celebrate them. So often we rush through life forgetting to realize the amazing growth and accomplishments we have experienced.   They could include new skills, overcoming fears, acts of love and generosity, personal insights, etc.  Congratulate yourself, treat yourself, and embrace these steps.  Keep a journal of these mini-victories and talk well to and of yourself.

Establish high, but reasonable goals and targets. Then focus upon tiny, doable action steps that will slowly, but gradually take you there.  When you establish perfection as a target or goal, you rob yourself of the joy that comes from being able to celebrate the little accomplishments and efforts, and even the missteps.  The more joy you experience along the way, the more inspired you will be to keep climbing.

Be patient and loving of yourself. Remind yourself that success and happiness in any endeavor is added one brick at a time, and takes time.  Recognize, encourage, and celebrate the little accomplishments that you and those around you experience, no matter how little they may seem.  When you make a habit of that, all those little steps add up over time to form a mighty fortress, and you’ll look back and ahead with much more joy and satisfaction than perfectionism can ever bring.

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