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How To Let Go Of The Idea Of Being “Perfect”

There is a very thin line between striving to be your best and succumbing to perfectionism. Having even one toe over that line can be enough to cause frustration and high anxiety. You’ll live in fear of making a mistake or looking foolish in front of others. As a result, you may stop trying to do anything unless you’re certain you will excel at it. This is a life of limitations and loss.

Yes, life can be pressure-packed and we should aim for success. But each and every one of us has the right to define what “success” means to us. Step one is to reject perfectionism.

Self-Love is the Entry Point

Perfectionism is not a self-loving choice. It is a daily reminder that you’re never good enough. By not accepting yourself, you’re heading down a road to self-hatred. Breaking news: Hating yourself is not a productive step toward acceptance. Thus, with that in mind, I invite you to peruse the suggestions below and you move to liberate yourself from the perfectionist trap.

How To Let Go Of The Idea Of Being “Perfect”

Perfection is a Counterproductive Myth

It does not exist. It cannot be achieved. What every human can attain, however, is their own personal best version of imperfection. We choose to be thankful for this because if everyone could be perfect, the world would be a monotonous and un-motivating place.

Take Breaks From Social Media

Almost everyone presents a carefully curated image of themselves online. Consuming this content all day, every day is enough to shatter anyone’s self-esteem. More specifically, you can start believing that you can’t post anything — thoughts, photos, etc. — unless it is (wait for it) perfect. So, take tech breaks as often as possible to detox your mind.

Try Something New

Don’t enter into this action with a success-failure state of mind. Do it for the sake and the joy of trying something new. You will benefit in the process because shying away from new tasks leads to stagnation.

african american woman smiling at something off cameraPractice Saying No to Others

It’s fine to have times when you prioritize yourself. Part of being “perfect” might be an image of yourself where you’re always there for others. This is a noble goal but not one that will serve you without some balance. Sometimes, you need to make a choice that’s designed to make you happy. This will decrease your stress levels and build your self-reliance while helping others release their “perfect” image of you.

Let Go Of Black-and-White Thinking

Instead of viewing every endeavor as a zero-sum situation, you can break down the effort into parts. Let’s say you have a project at work. You can find satisfaction and fulfillment in the process by breaking it into several parts. All your work doesn’t have to be reduced to a single final grade (read imperfect). Rather, you can take pride in each step along the way.

Talk Back to Your Inner Critic

Perfectionism has a soundtrack. It’s that internal monologue that points out every tiny flaw and tells you you’re not good enough. Guess what? You can snap back at that anxious voice and fact-check its claims. Talk to yourself with the same compassion you’d aim at your best friend. Choose encouragement and patience. Celebrate small victories and find the lessons when things turn out less than ideal. Let positivity have the final say.

Has Perfectionism Gotten Too Deeply Embedded?

A tricky aspect of perfectionism is that it can try talking you out of asking for support. Therefore, I invite you to reach out and talk. Let’s connect in the name of exploring your situation and we can help.  Reach out to learn more about anxiety therapy.

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