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Stop trying to be perfect! It just doesn't exist!

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

The constant struggle for perfectionism eats into your productivity and kills your chances of success.

It’s a bumpy road to nowhere.

So why do we do it?

Perfectionism can be a healthy trait but not when taken to extremes

Perfectionism can be linked with control. We feel we control our lives if everything is just right.

So, if you are anything like me, spending hours fretting over the smallest details, tweaking, amending, starting again, corrections and more corrections and repeating it all over again! Life quickly becomes a living nightmare and in the office you feel like you can get nothing done.

These are just some hallmarks of a perfectionist.

While some of us might be predisposed to perfectionism, for others it’s a learned behaviour, rooted in insecurity, where you’ve learned to match perfectionism with making you feel good and special. It’s become integral to your self-esteem and this is where perfectionism becomes unhealthy and unproductive.

Perfectionism is impossible to achieve. You could spend your whole life chasing after it but it only results in frustration and disappointment.

Some perfectionism is and healthy but not to these extremes. Strive instead for a healthy balance of perfectionism and happiness by uncoupling your self-esteem from perfectionism. So here’s how:

· Reset the high standards you are striving for. They need to be realistic and motivating. Allow these instead to drive your actions.

· If you aren’t excited to be working on your goals then maybe its time to change them. Be committed to your goals If these are work goals talk to your line manager or maybe its time for a new role

· Don’t beat yourself up over failures. Use them to learn from but don’t let your failures define who you are.

· Focus on the bigger picture and don’t allow yourself to obsess on the smallest details that don’t really matter

· Celebrate every achievement – no matter how small – as it proves progress

· Focus on you, your health, your personal and work relationships. Its easy to sacrifice your own well being over work but value yourself to be valued by others.

· Remember the 80-20 rule – focus on the vital tasks that really matter and yield the greatest output rather than spread yourself thinly across everything

Now is the time to stop trying to be perfect. It might feel daunting to make such a huge shift in mindset but remember nothing can be absolutely perfect.

“Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind … in an imperfect world.” - Robert Hillyer



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