Since childhood, many of us were led to believe that we must be perfect. By perfection, we mean that there should not be a single flaw or weakness within us. But what we fail to realize is that our striving for perfection is nothing but our need for approval. We try to hide our fear of rejection behind an attempt to look perfect. If we are perceived as anything less than ideal, we think that we might be ridiculed or rejected. While there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection, it can get problematic at times, especially when we don’t know how to overcome perfectionism.
Any powerful and successful woman with perfectionist tendencies tends to equate her achievements with self-worth. Whether in the role of a mother, employee, or social worker, such women put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves while trying to accomplish the tasks flawlessly.
To overcome perfectionism at work as well as in personal life, the first thing a woman can do is to start considering herself human. In this article, we will not only discuss ways to overcome perfectionism but also learn more about this condition.
Symptoms of Perfectionism
These are some of the most common symptoms of a perfectionistic attitude.
- You are highly critical of your mistakes or when you fail to meet expectations.
- You often fail to finish a project like completing a book because you feel it is not good enough.
- You waste your time obsessing over a small detail that no one cares about.
- You fixate on the part that has gone wrong instead of focusing on the one that went right.
- You fear taking pictures because you feel that you would never look perfect.
Consequences of a Perfectionistic Attitude
One of the most common tendencies among people who strive for perfection is procrastination. Women with perfectionistic attitudes fear their work might not be that good and either stop working on it or try to avoid doing it. Such women always find it hard even to make a small decision. Nothing is ever good enough for them; therefore, they cannot decide and move from one idea to another.
Since these women are perfectionists, they always try to improve their craft. However, while doing so, they often waste their time obsessing over minor details that are hardly noticed by anyone.
Social media has become a catalyst for such women. They always need to appear perfect and show the world they are having a great time. While this vain attempt and approval-seeking mentality take a lot of effort, such women can also suffer from depression if they receive criticism or a negative response.
How to Overcome Perfectionism
While it is not easy to change human nature, some tactics can be employed to help your case. Let us look at them.
Improve Your Self-esteem
To overcome perfectionism, you must work towards improving your self-esteem. As a perfectionist, you are constantly plagued by the feeling that your work or appearance is never good enough. However, you must accept yourself with all your imperfections. Learn to identify negative self-talk and silence your inner critic. Therefore, you must be not only aware of your weaknesses but also be willing to embrace them.
Read Also: How to Rebuild Your Self Confidence and Esteem
People often waste their time trying to be perfect in their lives. However, you must learn to gain perspective, and in order to do that, it is better to take a few steps back sometimes and view your life from a different vantage point. If you are too concerned about a particular detail, you must question whether it is that important. By changing your perspective, you may find that the imperfect piece you were fussing about was already perfect.
As a perfectionist, women always have unreasonably high expectations of themselves. Hence you must acknowledge your limitations and set realistic expectations. Setting high standards create additional stress. Successful and powerful women have always been their harshest critics.
But they must also ask themselves, ‘good enough for whom?’ All of us are human beings and prone to imperfections. While you may find fault in your work, it may be perfect for others. Hence it is high time that you start sharing their point of view and ease up a little.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Perfectionists often come across as too serious. Therefore, in order to stop being a perfectionist, you need to take a lighter approach to life. Start questioning whether it is necessary to produce a perfect piece or what could happen if you did not create one. You may also find that by being too severe or overly critical, you might have acted excessively dramatically in the past. Therefore, learn to loosen up and try to enjoy your life.
Understand That You Have a Long Way to Go
Perfectionists tend to believe that they are creating the ultimate work. But you must realize that, like everyone else, your life is a learning journey. Instead of holding yourself back while striving for perfection, allow yourself to make mistakes because that is how you will learn and improve.
Observe the Successful Women Around You
If you are so obsessed with perfection, then you must observe those around you, especially the ones who have achieved tremendous success. You will find that nobody had a perfect idea or product, to begin with. But that did not hold them back. They went out there and made their share of mistakes before achieving success.
Get Past Yourself
Perfectionists, especially women, always feel that they have a perfect self-image that they need to protect. They are always insecure that if people find their imperfections, they might be labeled failures. But they fail to realize that this self-image springs from their ego. Therefore, you must liberate yourself from the lies you have been telling yourself because these lies have been holding you back from experiencing a full and complete life.
These are some of the most common tips that one can use to overcome perfectionism.
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