Realize: You Don’t Have to be Perfect
Perfectionism is a friend of your inner critic. Like fear and insecurity, it fuels the flames of your negative self-talk; working to convince you you’ll never be good enough to achieve your dreams. If you have a tendency to be a perfectionist, you probably understand all too well the cycle of starting something only to give up because it will never be up to your own standards or others won’t approve. That is if you even get started. Perfectionism can keep us from even trying at all. There are ways you can work to keep your inner perfectionist in check. Just follow these tips, and you’ll soon be free of this trap.
Experiment with Good Enough
This first one may be pretty difficult for you if you’re a hard-core perfectionist but hear me out. Try to be satisfied with good enough and avoid shooting for perfect. When you find yourself saying something isn’t worth trying or feel like you just have to edit your work “one more time” to make sure it’s perfect, stop yourself. Breathe and remind yourself that doing something is almost always better than doing nothing. As we’ve touched on before, getting comfortable with discomfort will serve you well toward achieving your goals and making a change.
Accept That Perfection is an Illusion
Perfection is an unattainable goal. Nothing is ever perfect. You may look at the lives of others and feel that they’re doing everything right. It’s easy to compare. However, you’re only seeing part of the picture. Everyone has their own problems and insecurities. Similarly, you might get stuck in the vicious cycle of never thinking your work or you are finished. You may go over things with a fine-tooth comb, looking for mistakes to fix. But how will you ever know when the time is right? When will things be ready? The fact is perfection is an illusion. It’s unattainable, and you’ll only find yourself stuck if you wait for everything to be perfect.
Measure Yourself by Your Own Performance
Another way to beat perfectionism is to focus only on improving yourself. Your inner perfectionist wants to excel, so go ahead and let it. Except this time, you’re only measuring your current performance by your own past work. Striving to do better than you did the last time will still give you a rush of feel-good chemicals and a feeling of excitement, but you won’t get stuck on being perfect. Just better than last time.
Let your idea of perfection go. Use these tips to help move forward and feel good in simply doing your best.