Updated: 2019, Aug 19

How to Overcome Perfectionism? Know the Facts

How to Overcome Perfectionism? Know the Facts
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~~ Anna Quindlen

The Negative Story Telling

“I am working on myself. I do lots for others. Deep down, I feel happy when I am able to assist and feel like I make others happy. However, there is an emptiness that I feel. I feel inadequate, insecure, and not enough.

Subconsciously, I decided that if I could achieve perfection with myself, my body, my life, then and only then would I finally feel the deep love and inner acceptance I had been searching for inside of myself.” “I must reach perfection!” “Why do others let me down?”

We all agonize over the choices we make in life but in every choice, we are desperate to be the best. Terrified to make mistakes in our lives afraid of the judgment of others, we typically do not see our mistakes as learning experiences. In fact, we also see what others don’t even see…Our own flaws, imperfections, and our feeling that we are not enough.

Constantly seeking to change, and if we require so much pressure on ourselves we see anything falling short of it as failure. The pressure we put on ourselves! To be a size 2, to pretend we are perfect in other aspects of life, it all relates back to our own sense of awareness.

In this sense of quest for perfection, we then spend so much time doing, striving, achieving, in an endless momentum without really living. We end up missing out on what life really is about. Being present in each moment and experiencing, tasting life where we are, as we are.

Perfection is Not Attainable

Perfection Is Not Attainable

We try and try, to reach the ideal as we perceive that to be. But, when you think about it logically, is there a perfect body? Perfect job? Perfect parent? Perfect spouse? It is not possible to have our lives be happy, joyous, and one hundred percent problem free. Unexpected tragedies do happen. Usually in the form of something not turning out right, or someone disappoints us.

Letting go of the unattainable is a huge relief! We don’t need to be perfect. It’s impossible anyway! Once we relax into this and choose to let go of the perception of “perfect” life will become easier, less stressful, and lot more fun! This is, however not meant for you to start to make excuses not to complete or live life totally numb because it doesn’t matter anyway.

This is not what we are talking about here to be clear. Instead, learning how to just be a little easier on self and tweak the expectations you hold yourself to perhaps be obtainable ones.

Some expectations that you feel are indeed able to reach, are achievable, and obtainable, and push just a bit beyond your limit so that you stay challenged, focused not complacent. Discover self, find out what your strengths and weak parts are and bring in the right amount of acceptance to be able to coexist with your view of the ideal life that you are striving for.

Perfection is Not Authentic

When we strive to be perfect that becomes our focus. We miss out showing the world who we really are. It is not true to self nor is it authentic by any sort. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable, show up and allow yourself to be seen. Take hold of the courage to just be. Do you really need the approval of someone else’s definition of you? It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is very freeing. Your “imperfect self” is enough! Allow yourself to discover who you are.

Perfection Is Stagnation

No one is meant to be perfect in any area of life. Whether it is in relationships, personal growth, habits, or in your career, because in a perfect world, everything is stagnant. There is no room for growth, no evolution it simply would not be needed.

It is instead, through our missteps, irrational decision, and experimentation that we grow! These missteps in life allow you to see just how perfection holds you back. If you follow the perfect path, that is; the path without risk, and without failure, choosing only the path that is instead safe and easy; you would never have had these life-changing growth experiences.

Perfection Stagnation

Many people rigidly plan their life out, wanting to have control of it at all costs. Striving always and only for flawlessness. Having life go according to their plan; sets one up for missing out along the way possibly the best most meaningful and memorable moments in their lives, because the focus on perfection was always there and everything else was downplayed of shadowed in importance.

The element of surprise most always ends up fun and exhilarating and by being focused on outcomes, those seeking perfection at all cost often do not allow themselves spontaneity and can become critical of anything that would inspire a deviation from the path of perfection.

Why did they lose these wonderful memorable moments? Was it because the focus on too much perfection kept them on a type of treadmill where the unscripted, flexible fun life fails to exist? It is indeed a refreshing way to choose to view life; allowing ourselves to make room for some common missteps, some unplanned results, and challenges to strive to be open to accepting of change.

Starting out with great intentions, I set up a life in my own mind that would be well planned out. I wanted everything along the way to measure up to that scope of life I had set for myself. However life after all, is not able to become perfect.

If I had continued to view life through these eyes of perfection, I would not have discovered the life I am happy to be living today. Life for me would have been much different. The evolutions of insightful knowledge that I take forward because of this awareness derived from the missteps along the way, the unplanned, and the failures that are invaluable and a very good thing in the life worth living.

I am also wonderful at creating my own roadblocks at times, which I discovered in hind sight. If I had indeed chosen to set foot only on the well-honed path, it would actually have held me back from the discovery of my strengths and weaknesses neatly tucked away inside.

Also, I am able to view in hind sight the fact that my life would without a doubt lack opportunity of failure, I would not be where I am today had I not allowed myself to experience the lessons learned from negative input.

I lean on my negative experiences, without regret because it is key to my being able to help others appreciate and accept the core of their being. By learning how to coexist by being present in this moment and in this moment alone is where you always have choices.

There is no rainbow and puppy to soothe you in real life, but it is powerful to know that you always have control of this moment right now. There is no control over what has been in the past, nor is there any control over any future events. You can, however discover that you do have control over how you react, respond, and appreciate life starting right here and right now.

Perfection Advice

Perfection is not something you can actually achieve, because it does not actually exist. So the next time you find yourself striving to be more perfect, remember the imperfect, vulnerable you is perfect enough.

The goals, dreams and aspirations are yours, unique to you alone. The only way you can become upset with this thought is to fall short of your own bar of expectation. If one strives to live only in perfection mode, you will always seemingly fall short or others will fall short of your plan.

Living this more acceptable, calmer mindset is what others refer to as awareness. Finding time for you, even just spending a short few minutes of time with self can be very engaging and very intuitive. If we become engrossed in the external world to the point of living life in the fast lane, we may miss the entire experience. This then breeds regrets.

Perception is everything. What do you perceive of yourself today? You get to create each and every day. Can things be changed? Yes, I believe we grow and continue to change until we stop breathing when the choice is no longer ours.

By choosing to change your own beliefs, the better you will become. The more positive you will be, and the more confident you will feel.

Instead of self-talk that is riddled with negativity such as, “It’s just that I can’t”, or “Well, maybe I can” will then become more of, “yes I can!” “I will.”

You May Also Want To Read – Size Acceptance Movement – Stop Being At War With Yourself

Think About It, Understand It

Understand Perfectionism

If you had an experience of falling into water, that would explain why you are now afraid of it. The reality is the water isn’t there now, so you have a chance to change how you think about the water. Wade out in it.

Get comfortable on shore letting the water cover your feet. When this is over, you have probably created a different and more positive relationship to water.

Get determined about life. When we stop doing, that’s when we start living.

Sometimes people find it difficult to believe in self. They want to, but just are not familiar to the concept. The unconscious mind likes to stop us when we decide to find a new behavior.

Thinking about where you are, and where you want to be will elicit the change that one is seeking. Awareness will neutralize the old habits that hold us prisoner and open the unlocked door to opportunity, happiness and contentment.

Happiness after all, begins internally. Acceptance of self is all about accepting the good along with the negative traits that we all have.

Learning to become more open to the possibilities that life holds for fulfillment and contentment is the benefit of letting go of the idea of perfectionism. Create goals for yourself that are obtainable and comfortable to you.

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Davidene Bender-Main, MNLP, MBCT, CBT, HT, LC

Davidene Bender-Main is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming serving others by working with clients on specifically ta

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