Free Yourself from Perfectionism

Do you struggle with trying to get everything right?

Do you procrastinate because you are scared of not doing something perfectly?

Do you have impossibly high standards?

Do you feel guilty when you make a mistake - even a small one?

Do you have trouble relaxing?

Your need to get everything perfect could be making you sick.

Its time to get off that treadmill and start enjoying life.

Perfectionism is a disease that has spread into all areas of our lives, with its never-ending demands and judgements.

It predictably dominates our professional lives, but it can also creep into our hobbies, our friendships, our bodies and health, our intimate relationships and our home life.

If we listen to the voice of perfectionism, we will need to have the most beautiful house, the most organised schedule, the most finely sculpted body and the fittest mind.

Honed to within an inch of our lives, most of us are secretly exhausted and longing to take a break.

10 Steps to Getting off the Perfectionism Treadmill.

  1. Use physical activity for relaxation, rather than competition.

    Are you always looking over your shoulder while exercising? There’s a reason why gyms have mirrors and its not about getting a better workout. If you find yourself comparing your downward dog to that girl with the pale pink yoga mat - stop! You’re here to relax and enjoy yourself remember?

  2. Have a bad hair day

    Yes, there is life without a hairdresser. If you spend 2 hours every day getting ready and trying to appear perfect in the eyes of the outside world, you need to start focusing on other things! If someone has a problem with how you look - that is their issue.

  3. Take a day when you don’t look in the mirror.

    Self-surveillance is part of the problem and we all do it constantly.

  4. Finish a task and leave it.

    Don’t fuss or edit or take it through iterations. Trust your own judgement and leave it. Contemporary workplaces might encourage overwork and perfectionism, but the reality is that stressed workers are less productive and that sometimes, near enough IS good enough.

  5. Stop procrastinating.

    Procrastination is part of being a perfectionist. Tell yourself that it is OK to take a few shortcuts to get something done and that it is better to get something started than leaving a blank page for days when you have a deadline.

  6. Take time out to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with work or self-improvement.

    Watch a stupid, funny, unedifying movie, that won’t challenge you. No, you don’t have to sequester your relaxation time into self-education experiences.

  7. Become a pet owner.

    Having a pet will give you permission to do things like go for long walks, play and just hang out. Plus pets are lovingly non-judgemental.

  8. Do Nothing

    Yes, that’s right. Take a day off and do absolutely nothing that could be defined as “productive”. Don’t clean the house. Don’t catch up on your emails. Don’t do your banking. Don’t sort out your laundry. Don’t look after others or listen to your partner’s complaints.

    Call a friend. Have lunch at a cafe you’ve always wanted to try. Read a trashy thriller. Sit in a park and watch the world go by. Get a pedicure. Play with your cat (see above). Sleep in and have breakfast in bed.

  9. Give more compliments

    If you start finding things to like about other people, you may also start finding things to like about yourself.

  10. Be kind to others

    Embrace the grey area that is humanity. When someone makes a mistake, be more tolerant. Understanding and being more accepting towards others can help you take those first faltering steps towards forgiving and accepting yourself.

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