4 Strategies to Overcome Perfectionism
Do you set unachievable goals for yourself, and are you very hard on yourself if you make a mistake? Perfectionists are overly critical of themselves, have a fear of making mistakes, and need the approval of others. Studies have found a clear correlation between perfectionist tendencies and the development of a serious eating disorder. There are also links between perfectionism and anxiety disorders. Overcome your perfectionist tendencies with the following strategies:
1. Find out what is driving your perfectionism by asking yourself a few soul searching questions! Do you have a fear of letting others down? Do you feel like you need to be in control all the time? Are you afraid of failure? Try writing any answers down on a sheet of paper. This will help you find out what is behind your fear, then you can address the fear and insecurity underlying the perfectionism.
2. Perfectionists often focus on the outcome rather than the process of doing something. For example take cleaning the house – you will not be satisfied until it meets your high standards. I challenge you the next time you are cleaning the house or working on a project: be mindful in the process, try to find satisfaction in the process of doing something, rather than just in the finished result. This may mean slowing down a bit, appreciating what you are doing, noticing your surroundings as you do it.
3. Change your expectations! Ask yourself if your expectations of yourself are healthy and realistic? Can they actually be achieved? If the answer is no, the result can only be failure, frustration and loss of confidence and self esteem. Perhaps you can re-evaluate your expectations, standards, and goals, and make sure they are realistic and achievable for you – it can be helpful to get another opinion on this – someone who knows you well.
4. Stop worrying about mistakes! Perfectionists spend a lot of time worrying about imperfections and what people might think, and whether they are getting everything 100% right. This can really zap your energy and prevent you from moving forward. Its really important to keep positive, not to dwell on any mistakes and see the bigger picture – any time you do something you are less than happy with, think of all the things you have done right, think of the full picture of what you are doing and don’t get caught up in the negatives.