Some people see the pursuit of excellence as a positive thing. But many also know that the desire to achieve the perfect result in everything can significantly complicate a person’s life. Therefore, they are trying to figure out for themselves how to get rid of perfectionism. To become a more efficient employee as a result, to complete more tasks, and to get rid of the experiences of poor performance.
Psychology distinguishes two types of perfectionism. The first is positive. When it doesn’t affect your mood, and you feel great when you achieve results. And don’t get upset when you don’t. But if you are one of the few who tries to do everything perfectly, and is very worried if something does not work out for him. Then you may have signs of neurotic or maladaptive perfectionism. This often leads to bad moods, negatively affects your self-esteem, and negatively affects your performance.
What mistakes do perfectionists make?
1. They have too high expectations in the beginning.
Any tasks in the beginning are not easy, no matter what you are trying to achieve. In the beginning, you will make a lot of mistakes, and you will be dissatisfied with yourself and your results. Perfectionists often forget this, or are so preoccupied with avoiding mistakes that they don’t want to accept it. As a result, they are very worried if they do not complete the tasks.
2. They hesitate because of their worries.
Nobody finds worrying pleasant. It is a feeling of fear and insecurity that makes us feel tense. Perfectionists get a lot of anxiety when they are working on something. Therefore, they often procrastinate and avoid difficult work. Because she can give them a lot of experience, and makes them feel uncomfortable.
3. They don’t want to adapt to change.
Perfectionists tend to focus too much on planning in the beginning. In most cases, they are straightforward. Planning is, of course, essential to achieving goals. But it must also be remembered that our plans will most likely never be 100% fulfilled. And sometimes we may need to adapt our actions to changes in the external environment.
4. They don’t know how to celebrate their success.
Perfectionists often have difficulty internalizing their own success. These people do not feel good about their accomplishments because they think they are not good enough. And even a small mistake or failure can spoil their perception of success and a job well done.
General tips on how to stop being a perfectionist
The pursuit of excellence is a personality trait, not a personality disorder. It responds to regular interventions. Therefore, in order to get rid of perfectionism, you need to do constant work on yourself. Which will not only influence your thoughts, but also influence your behavior. There are many helpful tips on the internet on how to get rid of flawlessness. The most common of them sound like this:
- Try to change your point of view;
- Focus on the process instead of the end goal;
- Make your goals more realistic;
- Look for the positive in everything to counter negative thinking;
- Allow yourself not to be perfect.
These are really sane tips on how to get rid of perfectionism and are worth trying. But what if you’ve already tried all of this and it didn’t work for you? If the tips above didn’t work for you, it may be because some of your perfectionism involves overly intrusive thoughts. And you are pretty much neurotic.
These thought patterns are usually deeply ingrained over the years. Hence, they are difficult to change. Looking at the tips above, you may notice that they are solely aimed at changing your mindset or replacing your current mindset with a more positive one. Only replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is not as easy as it seems. By looking at these tips, you can try to find easier ways to achieve your goals, or set simpler goals. You need to give yourself permission to be imperfect. In other words, you can try to become the “perfect non-perfectionist”.
How to get rid of perfectionism and enjoy life
1. Focus on the present
Perfectionism tends to feed on the past and the future. Such thoughts may arise in your head: “I have never been good at this before, so I need to work harder now to achieve results”, “if I don’t do this work perfectly, then in the future I may lose it altogether”, and a lot others. Therefore, one of the best actions you can take against perfectionism is to live in the moment. This implies a complete commitment to notice what is happening right now, not only with your mind, but also with your feelings.
With practice, it helps you control or even transcend your thoughts. For example, if you are slicing vegetables for dinner and focusing on the smell of the food you see, the sound of the music you listen to. Then you will have much less opportunity to worry about the perfect way of cooking. You will enjoy the present moment. Awareness helps to come to this state. Which is gaining more and more popularity, and is now integrated into the practice of many psychotherapists. We also talk about it on the pages of our site.
2. Do something bad on purpose
A good way to get rid of perfectionism is to do something bad. For example, if you’ve never done art in your life, buy some paints and a canvas. Take some time to paint the worst picture that can be. Or, you can write the worst poem ever. Only no one else should see it. Trying to do something that you’re not very good at helps reprogram your belief that if you’re not perfect at something, it’s okay. However, don’t expect your mind to rebel. He will try to prevent you from reprogramming him, causing you to panic. Or by offering you a million different reasons not to try to do what you don’t do well. But you need to do it anyway.
3. Write down all situations in which your perfectionism manifests itself.
Start writing down what you are trying to be perfect at. Write down every little detail, even if you just caught yourself thinking that you are trying to brush your teeth perfectly. This will help you notice all of these actions, and not perform them unconsciously. And the less often you do them on autopilot, the more aware you will become. You will begin to become less demanding of yourself. This tactic will help you understand what your perfectionism is worth. You will begin to notice how much time you spend trying to perfectly sew one button instead of five. Or it is ideal to wash the floors in one room instead of the whole apartment.
4. Take all the risks
The next way to get rid of perfectionism is not to be afraid to take risks for failure. Because in most cases, perfectionism is a way to control all your actions and the actions of other people so that bad things don’t happen. Behind this desire may be a belief that the world is not a safe place and that no one can be trusted. A good way to challenge this and begin to overcome the need for control is to take risks. I just want to note that I’m not talking about something dangerous now.
The idea is not to actually make your world insecure. It’s about proving it’s safer than you think. It’s about noticing how you overdo it. For example, if you always come back from your lunch break fifteen minutes early to look like your most dedicated employee. What happens if you show up five minutes early? This is not about looking for permanent change, but about reprogramming your mind with small actions until it accepts proof that the world is not as dangerous as you think.
5. Remember that mistakes are inevitable.
Many situations in life don’t go smoothly. And nothing is and should not be perfect. With this mindset, it will be easier for you to understand how to get rid of perfectionism. Therefore, we all make mistakes. We cannot always predict or plan things in the best way. And when it comes to complex projects and meaningful goals, mistakes and difficulties arise even more often. They are simply inevitable. It is important to embrace this philosophy that nothing is perfect. And we always learn from mistakes, and thanks to them we get better every day.
6. Determine What Causes Your Perfection
Of course, all of your beliefs that the world is dangerous, as well as any others you may have, did not come out of nowhere. They were either shaped by your past experience, or instilled by other people, such as your parents. Revealing how you created these core beliefs is one of the best ways to change your impeccability habits. This can be done by hiring a coach, finding a support group, experimenting with journaling, or working with a therapist who can create a safe work environment for you. This may seem boring at first. But in the long run, it can bring about significant changes in the way you view the world. Which will help you feel satisfied with yourself and your results.