Top 3 Easy Ways To Overcome The Need For Perfection

Top 3 Easy Ways To Overcome The Need For Perfection

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The more I go through life, the more I’m realising that the biggest thing holding me back is perfection.  (But what even is perfection anyway?!)

Seems like it was always there, I just didn’t know how extreme it was!  I was never happy with my schoolwork.  Always striving to make it better.  Always striving for 100/100 and A+.  First of all, you might be thinking that there’s nothing wrong with this.  Generally speaking, I’m here to tell you that when you got it bad, it can actually paralyse you from creating anything.

Above all, when I realised I had this problem, I found myself “procrastinating“.  As a result, cleaning the house until it looked spotless became more of a priority than actual work.  Doing things in a certain order became my nemesis.  “I can’t move onto the next thing on my to-do list until I’ve done this thing”.

So how can you overcome this perfection paralysis?  Glad you asked.

1. Prioritise progress over perfection

This is so important!  Far too often, I am so bogged down in things being 100% perfect, that I miss the bigger picture.  As a result, making something as perfect as possible becomes the goal for me, rather than the actual result of the task.  For this reason, I end up taking sometimes more than 3x longer to complete a task.

The key is to prioritise the task at hand rather than focusing on it being perfect.  Therefore, some flaws + productivity is better than perfection + missed deadlines!

2. Be okay with mistakes

I find that with every single thing I do, I am so ashamed if it’s not perfect (in my eyes).  Or if there are mistakes.  But this wastes so much mental energy!  Instead, realising that there is no such thing as perfection, will encourage you to just live your life.  Making mistakes only means we are human.  So embrace those imperfections and mistakes!  (And of course, learn from them for next time!) I wrote more about this here.

3. Embrace criticism off-the-cuff

This is a huge one for me.  Learning to finally be okay with other people’s criticisms was what helped me to overcome the need to be perfect.  Not only did I realise that sometimes, other people’s opinions are just other people’s opinions.  But I learnt to not take it personally.  See it for what it is.  Sometimes, people will offer constructive criticism.  In which case, you can take it on board to improve your work.  And sometimes, the criticism is just because that person feels the need to bring you down.  It’s still not personal.  Remember that.  People who love to criticise and bring others down will always be that way.  And they’re like that with all the people in their life, not just you.

So there you have it.  The top 3 ways I’m managing my need for perfection in a healthy way!  Do you have any other tips or can you relate to what I’ve written?  Let me know in the comments below!

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62 Comments

  1. 1st August 2018 / 6:56 pm

    Love this! I’m definitely guilty of focusing on the future and not the progress I’ve made towards something

  2. 1st August 2018 / 7:01 pm

    Oh boy. Perfectionism is one of my biggest obstacles. As a child, I wasn’t really allowed to make mistakes. If I came home with an A-, I was questioned as to why it wasn’t an A. There were lots of things like that which turned me into the perfectionist that I am. Like you, I’m always trying to better the final product, even when it’s already great! You are so right about everything you’ve mentioned in your post! A good rule of thumb for all of us is to just accept it and let it be! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 1st August 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Flowers are the only thing on earth that makes me happy.. I loved it and your dress is so perfect. You look lovely..

  4. 1st August 2018 / 7:12 pm

    glad you overcame this, it seems so stressful to be almost desperate for perfection to that degree that it becomes paralyzing. the irony is that it actually makes thing less perfect. i love peoples constructive criticism, because that is what makes us develop ourselves.

    my struggle is more to actually be able to see if the product i’m creating is good or not, often i feel that everything i’m creating is crap until other people give me positive feedback. so i’m trying to learn how to see that myself, so i don’t have to be dependant on others feedback. #life

  5. 1st August 2018 / 8:19 pm

    This is a very uplifting and positive post. This should be a post for every #MCM & #WCW to empower others.

  6. 1st August 2018 / 8:37 pm

    Yes! Yes and Yes!!! We all need to remember this as some of us are very hard on ourselves and strive for perfection. I say strive for progress instead. 😉

  7. 1st August 2018 / 8:44 pm

    What a great post. Enjoyed reading it. I definitely took a few pointers.

  8. Marjie Mare
    1st August 2018 / 10:06 pm

    Most of the time, we are so hard on ourselves and we can’t take criticism well. Thanks for sharing those 3 ways to overcome the need for perfection.

  9. Ola
    1st August 2018 / 10:22 pm

    First of all, BEAUTIFUL photos! Second, I love when you said “People who love to criticise and bring others down will always be that way. And they’re like that with all the people in their life, not just you.” Excellent advice! Critcal people really are like that with everyone, which is why they are usually alone.

  10. 1st August 2018 / 10:31 pm

    I am definitely okay with most of my mistakes. I learned a long time ago that perfection only really exists in the eye of the beholder. Someone will always find a flaw somewhere.

  11. 1st August 2018 / 11:22 pm

    Ive learnt to be kinder to myself on a daly basis, life is hard and busy and there is no way I can do everything myself, and I need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Often as long as I am trying my best and making the most of situations I can get away from the idea of perfection.

  12. 2nd August 2018 / 12:16 am

    I really enjoyed reading your post. These are really helpful tips. It’s so important to be okay with our mistakes and be able to move forward.

  13. 2nd August 2018 / 1:39 am

    I never ever had a need to be perfect. Ever. Because I was raised with a very realistic mindset. I don’t compare myself to others. I don’t read magazines that tell girls how they should be and act. I just do me. And that’s why I am happy.

  14. 2nd August 2018 / 2:08 am

    I totally agree with point no 2 be ok with mistakes we made in life. I guess mistake made us grow to be a smarter and more experience person. Only through mistakes we truly learn our lessons. Just like – you dont have to tell a kid all the time what is right and what is wrong. Only through mistakes the kid can get it and remembered for the rest of their life and also wont repeat the same mistake.

  15. 2nd August 2018 / 2:56 am

    Super helpful post – there’s nothing more liberating than letting go of the need for perfection. It’s definitely something I’m learning later in life! Also – this entire post was an absolute visual delight…those flowers!!! Thanks for a great post!

  16. 2nd August 2018 / 3:36 am

    Great tips! Agree with these tips, mistakes happen and things may not always be perfect. When the focus is off of things having to be perfect, it is way less stressful. Gorgeous photos!!

  17. 2nd August 2018 / 4:02 am

    It can be tough to find a healthy balance. It’s important to remember that while you may be a perfectionist, others generally don’t notice imperfections in things. It’s good to care about doing good work but not drive ourselves crazy over it.

  18. 2nd August 2018 / 5:01 am

    Those photos and flowers look lovely! Thank you for sharing these tips, they’re definitely helpful.

  19. Catherine Santiago Jose
    2nd August 2018 / 5:31 am

    Great post and these are the things that we always need to keep in mind. Focus more on progress instead of perfection because perfection can hurt you a lot.

  20. 2nd August 2018 / 5:48 am

    This was a good read. Perfection is my enemy! I’ve come to realize that there is really no such thing as perfection.

  21. 2nd August 2018 / 6:08 am

    Oh gosh perfection is something I don’t want in my life arsenal. It hampers creativity and growth.

  22. 2nd August 2018 / 7:16 am

    I have to admit it is hard to not try to do everything to perfection. At the moment, I am struggling with breastfeeding and I need to take a moment to realize it is okay.

  23. Catherine Santiago Jose
    2nd August 2018 / 10:49 am

    This is such a great post. For me, I don’t need to focus on a perfection instead I am focusing more on progression.

  24. Aine Mulloy
    2nd August 2018 / 11:10 am

    Just what I needed, feeling a bit stuck at the minute -great tips and gorgeous photos too!

  25. 2nd August 2018 / 12:03 pm

    Very sound advice. Thank you for sharing lovely.

  26. 2nd August 2018 / 1:16 pm

    First thing, the PHOTOS are amazing- love the coloring and setting. But on to the blog: I have found that having kids has really given my “perfectionism” a run for its money. I’m learning that the happiness and spontaneity of children are more enjoyable than a place for everything and everything in its place. Thank you for the reminder!

  27. Karla
    2nd August 2018 / 1:56 pm

    This post makes me realize that I dont have to be afraid in making mistakes. Its bvery uplifting and encouraging. I love the photos!

  28. 2nd August 2018 / 2:32 pm

    The need for perfection is definitely something I’d need to overcome. I always want things to be as good as possible and it stresses me out. I always remember my mistakes for way too long! 🙂

  29. Jessica Taylor
    2nd August 2018 / 3:08 pm

    I am so guilty for trying to be a perfectionist! I tend to overplan and stress myself out!

  30. 2nd August 2018 / 3:14 pm

    I used to be a perfectionist. I always want things neat, the best, and the star. I learned to give up on this when i started to be a mom and got more kids to deal with. Now, the house is a mess and sometimes, i just don’t care as long as my kids enjoy and have something to eat. I can’t clean the house now with two toddlers to look after.

  31. Rosey
    2nd August 2018 / 3:19 pm

    Grieving over mistakes does waste precious energy. Best to just try harder next time and move on.

  32. 2nd August 2018 / 3:34 pm

    I completely agree with you on all these three points. Some people fears of doing mistakes while some of them things too much about being criticised. But they are part of our progress. Afterall, your works will be talked about when they will be proved more worthy than many other things.

  33. 2nd August 2018 / 3:36 pm

    This blog is so well written.
    I am glad I read it 🙂

  34. 2nd August 2018 / 4:34 pm

    I don’t think I have a problem with perfection but I can definitely still relate. I just put things off and focus so much on my to do list or just making sure the house is clean before I can do something but then it takes forever to clean. I think my biggest thing I relate to though is taking citisizm! I haaate people telling me something is not right. Sometimes (most of the time) I do take it personally and it’s really hard not to. So that’s something I work on and try to be more aware of.

  35. 2nd August 2018 / 4:58 pm

    To realise that other people’s criticism is not about you but about them is a great wisdom to take away.

  36. Ann Snook
    2nd August 2018 / 7:45 pm

    I really need to accept the progress over perfection thing. Ever since I was little I would be hesitant to stick with things if I didn’t do them perfectly the first time. I’m working on it!

  37. 2nd August 2018 / 8:38 pm

    LOVE this! Such great advice to living a happier more satisfied life. I struggle everyday with learning how to accept criticism and not take it personally but as a learning experience.

  38. Szebastian Onne #INSPIRE
    2nd August 2018 / 9:06 pm

    You’ve raised a very valid point and topic and being a perfectionist I know exactly how true this is. Thankfully, with time I learned the very tips you have mentioned in this article which have helped me balance things without getting frustrated myself or causing frustration for others. It is a journey though, and one that I hope to perfect with time, no pun intended.

  39. 2nd August 2018 / 9:40 pm

    I have a friend who really struggles with perfection. She is learning though; I should show her this!

  40. E. Smith
    2nd August 2018 / 10:58 pm

    I love the concept of embracing progress over perfection! I think the idea of perfection can really stunt growth and moving forward because often progression doesn’t look “perfect”!

  41. 3rd August 2018 / 12:39 am

    First off, your photos are divine!

    Secondly, I too struggle with the idea of perfection. My logical brain knows that it’s not real or at least not truly achievable in most circumstances, but still the drive is there. Thankfully it has slacked off some as I’ve gotten older, but it may end up being a lifelong battle.

  42. 3rd August 2018 / 1:03 am

    I abosolutely love your photos and the message of this post. I always tell myself, “done is better than perfect.” Which is hard to accept sometimes, as I am naturally a perfectionist and would spend days working on tiny details if I could.

  43. Indrani
    3rd August 2018 / 2:17 am

    Yes these are 3 important tips. Accepting mistakes naturally takes time. But once overcome helps a lot.
    Nobody is perfect.

  44. Ana Ojha
    3rd August 2018 / 4:02 am

    What a beautiful piece of writing and great message indeed! At times we forget that it is ok to make mistakes. We just have to give our best shots in everything we do without stressing ourselves!

  45. 3rd August 2018 / 4:07 am

    perfectionism is hard. It’s definitely something that I struggle with feeling I need to be all the time.

  46. 3rd August 2018 / 5:49 am

    This is great and so very true for so many. Learning from mistakes and not to be perfect is a plus in my book.

  47. Heather
    3rd August 2018 / 8:13 am

    It can be hard to accept things that are not perfect, but I drive myself bonkers trying to achieve it. I really like the idea of focusing on progress as a marker.

  48. 3rd August 2018 / 12:25 pm

    I am a reforming perfectionist, which means that I have to recognize when not getting something out in the world is due to being afraid that it won’t be right. Now that I am running our businesses full time, I am learning to get things completed and sent out even when I have small doubts. I usually find that no matter how much I doubt it that we are crushing it just by putting our hat in the ring! 😆 Thanks for sharing an issue that many of us fall prey to.

  49. Gladys Nava
    3rd August 2018 / 1:56 pm

    I love the thought of this blog post. Every sentences are really great and worth to read. Thank you for this wonderful blog post.

  50. 3rd August 2018 / 2:12 pm

    Can I just say that I’m totally loving the vibe of the cafe/restaurant that you’re at? It reminds me of the lavender fields in Korea! 🙂

  51. 3rd August 2018 / 4:43 pm

    I absolutely love this. I struggle with this a lot and am working to let go of perfection each and every day.

  52. 3rd August 2018 / 5:46 pm

    These are all great tips. I know I seem to be too much of a control freak and need to loosen up. Progress over perfection is a big one for me. Definitely something I need to work on. Thanks for sharing!

  53. Princess Quinn
    3rd August 2018 / 9:09 pm

    I am a perfectionist and it’s not easy. Thank you for these tips. I will try my best to focus on the progress and appreciate things more.

  54. Danielle
    4th August 2018 / 3:08 pm

    These photos are gorgeous! Your message is also pretty amazing as well! Thank you for sharing I needed this today!

  55. 4th August 2018 / 6:57 pm

    I am so happy that you shared this. I now need to stop obsessing over perfection every time.

  56. Elizabeth O
    4th August 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Oh wow your photography is beautiful. Great job. This is a really helpful post for anyone who struggles with the need for perfection.

  57. Anna
    7th August 2018 / 10:42 am

    Oh I suffer from the same habit! haha Good to read there are ways to deal with it. Going to implement on it now. Thanks for sharing

  58. Anna
    7th August 2018 / 10:43 am

    Oh I suffer from the same habit! haha Good to read there are ways to deal with it. Going to implement on it now. Thanks for sharing

  59. Anna
    7th August 2018 / 10:47 am

    I have to admit I suffer with the same habit but starting to realize perfection doesnt exist. like your blog post.

  60. 8th August 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Wooow. This is so amazing. Not only the post itself but these pictures ;0 You are very beautiful. The decor is very pretty too. I am also in love with your blog. 😀

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