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!