How to Eliminate Perfectionism

I am a recovering perfectionist, so I get it.  I know the feeling of never being good enough. I know what it’s like to want to look perfect, act perfect, be a perfect coach, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, horse-owner, property-owner, dog-owner, jeans-wearer, car-driver…the list goes on. It gets a bit exhausting and it takes a firm decision to get over it. 

Perfectionism is nothing but a bad habit. And like any habit, it can be changed. And like with any habit, I can relapse. I’m not perfect. 

To get over your perfectionism, you need a few things.

  1. A change of heart. This means you need to choose to get over your perfectionism. Here’s what worked for me. Imagine if you met someone who was perfect. What would it be like to talk to them? Could the two of you relate to each other at all? Could you even hold a conversation? If I couldn’t connect to a perfect person, why the heck would I want to be one?
  2. Stick-to-itiveness. A habit is going to try to hang around. It’s going to catch you when you’re unsuspecting. It is going to take commitment, self-discipline, and a desire for something better to help you change this habit.
  3. A replacement behaviour. Holes are made to be filled. If you change the habit of perfectionism, you may want to replace it with something else, something more beneficial then berating yourself. Self-compassion works for me. Anytime I feel my perfectionism habit creeping up again, I decide to feel compassion for myself instead. I’m only human after all.
  4. A come-back plan. Like any habit, you will relapse back to perfectionism. Don’t beat yourself up. That is just your perfectionism breaking through again. 

How is perfectionism showing up in your life? Where do you beat yourself up? What other habits do you have kicking around that could use a dose of this?

Here’s to conquering stress,
The Stress Experts

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