Perfectionist, what a wonderful thing to be.
While it’s probably a good thing to be a perfectionist for something like school assignments, when it comes to life and what really matters to us, being a perfectionist will seriously damper your successes and life in general.
A saying along the lines of “don’t stop till you get it right” in a sense is something you should follow. But let me rework the wording of it and make it an even more meaningful saying. How about “never stop no matter what” as a better motivator?
I know it sounds generic, but let it soak in. Instead of the first saying where it implies that once you get something “right” then you can stop. But that isn’t the case. You must become great, and then become greater. You’ve got to get good, then get better.
What separates the average people and the experts in fields is this very thing. Experts are still learning, day in and day out. Where-as an “average” person or someone who is fairly good but not the best at something will stop learning the day they think they’ve learned enough.
Don’t be that guy / girl. Don’t get mixed up with everyone else. Stand out, keep learning, and become an expert of the experts.
Along with all of this expert and average person talk comes along something called a perfectionist. They need to get everything right perfectly the way they envisioned it before moving on to something else. And while it is nice to have something perfect every time, it just isn’t plausible all of the time. Instead, you need to focus on getting more things done that are “good enough.”
How do you think experts got to where they are? They did it because they keep on going no matter what, no matter if they messed up on the little things they kept on going.
Anyways, how do you overcome perfectionism?
Well, if you follow the following 11 ways on how to overcome perfectionism then you will be on the right path to altering your mindset to be able to overcome your perfectionist behaviors. Let me kick start you off with the first one on the list!
1. Stop comparing your busy work to others
We all want to be better then the next, I’m sure we can all agree on that one. But when do we draw the line? When do we realize that being better then the next in certain situations isn’t necessary?
When it comes to small tasks or what some like to refer to it as “busy work” often times being a perfectionist and comparing every little task you do to others will actually put you behind those who you are trying to be better than. Stop worrying about other peoples work, start worrying about getting more done, quicker.
Perfectionizing over small little irrelevant tasks is literally pointless. Why do you need to be perfect and better then someone at writing an email? Exactly, there’s no point. Get over yourself, and worry about getting the things that matter done right.
2. Analyzing the impact of your decisions – temporary or long term?
Think before you perfectionize.
Are you perfectionizing over something that is temporary and isn’t going to have much of an effect for long? Or, are you perfectionizing over something that will potentially impact your life day in and day out for a longer period of time, or even forever?
If something is short term (probably like your next relationship) then it’s probably best to skip the perfectionizing and just get it done “good enough.”
Whereas if something is longer term (like your stay in your mom’s basement) then it’s probably a good idea to be a perfectionist about it and try to get all the tiny details right.
To summarize; it’s a better idea to be a perfectionist over the important and long lasting activities over something that is going to come and go quickly and won’t really impact your life for long.
3. Remove those pesky perfectionist outlets from your life
Day in and day out we are thrown tons of “perfect” things at us. On TV, in ads, even some people around us all appear seemingly perfect to us.
Although you can’t remove people around you (which would be nice), you can remove a lot of media that is making you believe that everything in this world is perfect. Think about all the things in your life that portray a perfect world, here’s a list to get you started:
- Your favorite TV shows (soap operas for the mom’s out there)
- Advertisements (pretty much on every media outlet)
- Reading content that tells you to be perfect and always be the best
To counteract all of these toxic things in our lives that portray perfectionism as the only way to life, how about you try doing these things to change your perfectionism mindset that all of these outlets are feeding to you:
- Quit watching TV so much (I know it’s fun, but is it worth it?)
- Cut out social media and ridiculous advertisements as much as possible (probably won’t happen, this one is only for the strong and determined, is that you?)
- Stop reading blogs and magazines that say perfectionism is the way to life – they are a bunch of liars! That’s right, I’m calling them all out.
4. Ignore those who say that you aren’t done yet
Ever been faced with a situation where you were seemingly never done because someone kept nitpicking things every time you proposed your “finished” project?
Next time give them a big “fuck you” (unless it’s your boss, probably not the best idea) and just go with what you’ve got done. Just because they are perfectionists does not mean you need to confine your work flow to their way of working.
So if you have the luxury of pushing out your projects without consent of others, then do it. Don’t listen to others so closely and just go with it. Advice is good by the way, just not when it comes to such tiny details that an ant couldn’t even see them.
5. Allow yourself to make mistakes
If you crave a world where you never make mistakes, you’re going to get hit hard when you make any type of mistake, no matter how large or small.
Allowing and even being open and accepting of mistakes to enter your life will stop you from caring about doing something and having it fail.
Who cares if it fails?!
You shouldn’t, and once you accept failures and think of them as little wins you will be well beyond being a perfectionist and you will never look back. Promise! 🙂
6. Learn to let the little (and big) things go
If something you have no control over doesn’t go exactly your way, you really need to do one of two things:
- Let it all go entirely
- Find an easy alternative path of action
If you can’t find an easy and simple alternative path of action to take in place of your existing situation, you need to let it go all together.
Fussing over things you can’t control is pointless, as I will tell people until the end of time. Just let it go, it’ll be alright!
No control? No fuss. 🙂
7. Believe what you are already doing is perfect work
Think about this one, what if you truly believe in what you are already doing today is perfect work already?
It would be a beautiful world! You would truly believe in your work and what you’ve accomplished, without keeping the thoughts about not having perfect work in front of you.
Develop a mindset that you are already producing perfect results, and you will notice a huge cut down on perfectionist thoughts and more thoughts on how great you have done with your work. And the best part is, you don’t have to change anything besides your mindset! Sounds like a win win to me, how about you?
8. Set not-so-perfect goals (lower your standards)
Next time you create a goal and think you need to reach it in every little aspect, don’t think that way!
Instead, create goals but with the intention of being not-so-perfect when you reach them.
Sure, things might not be so elegant and perfect like you thought they were going to once you reached your goal, but who cares? You shouldn’t!
Why shouldn’t you care? For one simple reason…
You reached your goal! Who cares if it isn’t glamorous and flashy like you wished it was? Exactly my point. Stop setting such high expectations that don’t make a difference and focus on the bigger picture.
9. Don’t let perfect kill the good
Imagine that all this magnificent work you have done all went to waste because you tried to make it perfect?
Realize that not everything is meant to be perfect or ever even get close to perfect is essential. Don’t let the perfect in you kill the good you have already done.
Stop perfectionizing, start completing.
10. You are human (I hope)
You’ve heard this time and time again I’m sure of it; “you are only human.”
We are told this are entire lives, we are human and we all make mistakes. It’s true! We all do, I’ll even admittedly say that I make mistakes all the time. But without mistakes there is no upside.
Take a risk, go with good enough for once, and see that the results probably aren’t as bad as you thought they were going to be.
Again, we are just human after all.
11. Go with the flow
Stop going against the flow and let the flow well, flow.
Perfectionizing over the little things prevents the flow you’ve got going from continuing. Every time you waste precious resources just to get things “just right,” you are stopping your work flow right in it’s path and it isn’t doing you any good!
Cut it out and go with the flow my friend. Just go with the flow. 🙂
Hey again perfectionists!
Oh wait, sorry, you aren’t a perfectionist anymore! Well, at least I hope that I’ve helped make that statement true for you.
If you haven’t noticed by now, perfectionizing is only valid in very rare circumstances (such as things that are going to effect you in the long run). But otherwise, get over your perfect self image mindset and just go get as much as you can done.
Now go my fellow getshitdoneist, it’s a much better title to have I promise you.