Why can’t my skin be perfect? I’m doing my best, but what if my boss hates the project? I will win this thing!
If you dig deep enough, you’ll recognize some aspects of perfectionism deep within.
Everyone has faced the challenge of wanting to be better than anyone else. Being better than we already are is a good aspiration. But that’s not enough for us. We strive to perfection, and that’s when the problems begin.
The strive for improvement is an absolute necessity in life. It pushes you to learn more, try harder, and make progress. However, when this strive turns into perfectionism, it’s a reflection of your big ego. It makes you constantly unsatisfied with the things you achieve.
Have you ever had to deal with a perfectionist? Maybe a partner, a boss, or a parent? How impossible was it to make them happy with your achievements? Why would you impose such high expectations on yourself?
Perfectionism can really ruin your life. Daniel Winslet, a team leader from Best Essays, sees that from a student’s point of view: “Do you know how many students are striving to make their perfectionist parents happy? Too many. Since they are so used to being pushed, they start imposing impossible expectations to themselves. Although they can write well, they are not confident in their abilities. They hire professional writers even when there’s no need for that. A perfectionist doesn’t recognize the it’s good enough limit. That complicates their lives to a great extent.”
Is there a way to control this state of being? Yes. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. We’ll list 7 tips to help you with that.
1. Appreciate the Journey
Winning at something is easy to celebrate, right? But the moment when you meet a goal is not the only one worthy of a celebration. All small steps that get you there are important. Pay attention to the progress, no matter how insignificant it seems. This will teach you that every move forward is important. You’ll still keep an eye on the goal, but you’ll understand that the wider perspective is what matters.
2. Understand the Value of Mistakes
When you look at the photos of popular Instagram yogis, you’re mesmerized with their power and grace. That’s because they show you the final result of a long process of making effort. Throughout that process, they fell down from a handstand countless times. They went through misalignments and pain. They are still not perfect. No one ever is.
Don’t let mistakes stop you from working further. Acknowledge their value. They teach you lessons. When you correct a mistake, you’re getting a lot better at what you do.
3. Don’t Turn Ideals into Absolutes
Everyone has ideals. A perfectionist translates them into goals. If a perfectionist is a writer, they want to be the next Dostoevsky. When they write something, they don’t believe it’s good enough for that ideal. So they don’t bother publishing it.
Turn your ideals into guidelines; not absolutes.
4. Don’t Rush with Your Judgments
Growth is a process. Goal-achieving is a process. Overnight success? There’s no such thing.
Let’s say you start a YouTube channel and you want to make it a huge success. Chances are, you won’t achieve that with a single video. You’ll have to keep working and engaging your audience. Each day, you’ll be attracting more viewers.
If you get disappointed after the first video because it doesn’t get you millions of views, you won’t continue doing this. If you keep going, you’ll reach the millions at one point.
Do not judge your achievements too soon! Let the process take its time.
5. Avoid the Comparison Trap
Why is it called a comparison trap? – Because comparing yourself to other people traps you in a place of constant disapproval. You feel like you’re never good enough, since there’s always someone accomplishing more. This behavior is harmful.
You can compare yourself only to yourself. Think about where you are at this moment. Envision where you want to be. Pay attention to the progress and that will be good enough.
6. Acknowledge Your Uniqueness
You can’t be someone else. You can’t meet other people’s expectations? That’s okay. It’s more important to find out who you want to become.
You’re a unique individual with special preferences. Your attempt to be perfect in the eyes of other people gets in the way of achieving your unique potential.
7. Stay in the Now
Perfectionists constantly think about a more successful future. That’s not a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t take you away from the present moment. Do not keep your focus on the goals all the time. You can envision a better future for yourself, but perceive it as the growth you’ll achieve starting from this moment.
Staying in the present moment is not just a random mindfulness technique everyone is talking about. It’s wisdom. It works.
Will you sacrifice your happiness to perfectionism? Of course not! You’re already great. You can become better, but you shouldn’t be unhappy if you don’t become perfect. Each step forward is important, no matter how insignificant it seems.
Joan Selby is a life coach, a writer at Writerzone.net and a blogger; a graduate of California Institute of the Arts and a fancy-shoe lover; a writer by day and reader by night, giving a creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.
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