How to Stop Being a Perfectionist

stop being perfectionist

Perfectionists are usually high-achievers. But this comes at a cost. They will feel under pressure and they often set unrealistic expectations for themselves and others. 

This can lead to a paralyzing fear of failure, worry over not meeting unattainable standards, immense stress and anxiety, low self-esteem, and a variety of other problems. 

If you identify as a perfectionist and want to feel better and start enjoying life more, here are some simple ways to start addressing some of these issues. 

1. Become more self aware 

If you’re trying to stop being a perfectionist, first you need to become more aware of these traits so you can address any underlying causes and address them. 

First take some time to pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors. You can write them down if it helps. Once you’re more aware, you can start to change any negative patterns and self-talk. 

2. Set realistic goals 

It’s great to be ambitious. However, perfectionists are known to set goals that are unrealistic – then they’ll beat themselves up for not reaching impossible standards.

To start letting go of perfectionism, it’s important to start by setting goals that are more realistic. They can still be challenging, but in a healthy way that makes you less stressed and more confident that you can reach them with hard work. 

3. Cut out any negative influences 

Are there any influences in your life that make you feel worse about yourself? It could be a family member or friend putting pressure on you. Or, more commonly, it’s things like social media, books, podcasts, TV shows, or movies that reinforce low self-worth. 

The easiest thing to do is cut these out or limit them. Be aware of social media and other channels that promote unrealistic standards, as this could be fueling your perfectionism. 

4. Give yourself time limits 

If you’re guilty of obsessing over the details in projects, the best thing to do is give yourself a specified time limit. This means that you can’t keep working on it until it’s perfect. 

Instead, it makes you accept that it will never be perfect, but there’s a limit to how much you can work on it. If you tend to strive for perfection on tasks, give yourself a timeframe then set a timer. When it rings, you stop working on it and start your next task. 

5. Realize it’s okay to make mistakes 

Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes. If you’re a perfectionist, it can be hard to let go, but it’s not the end of the world if you fail – it means you get a chance to learn and do better. 

When starting a project, hobby, or activity, focus on enjoying the process and growing over time, rather than worrying about getting everything right straight away. 

Always be kind to yourself and know that you’re doing your best. As long as you’re motivated, you can be more self-accepting by lowering your unrealistic standards. 

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