The pursuit of perfectionism can be exhausting and stressful. Your anxiety about making mistakes can interfere with putting your best foot forward. Implementing the following steps can help you relax and learn to take life as it comes.
Steps to Take With Yourself
1. Learn from your mistakes. Realize that mistakes are your friends. Successful people typically make lots of mistakes because they take more risks. As long as you let your errors teach you how to do better next time, you’ll be making progress.
2. Identify more reliable sources of fulfillment. Perfectionism is frequently a sign of being overly concerned with prestige, material possessions and other external factors that are prone to sudden change. Your peace of mind will increase when you shift your focus to cultivating loving relationships and a positive outlook.
3. Break jobs down into simple steps. Procrastination can set in when you find it difficult to start a task because you’re worried about getting every detail right. Get moving by taking it one step at a time. For example, create a room-by-room plan for your routine cleaning.
4. Prioritize. Save time by deciding when you need to be meticulous and when it’s okay to improvise. A detailed itinerary is useful for a business trip, but you can just enjoy whatever happens when you spend an afternoon playing with your kids.
5. Do things for the fun of it. Observe how you feel when you’re engaged in an activity without any score keeping. Try to hold onto the peaceful state of mind you experience while chopping vegetables or grooming your dog.
6. Find relaxation techniques that work for you. Studies show that people with a tendency for perfectionism build up higher levels of some stress hormones. Calm down with meditation, instrumental music or a massage.
Steps to Take in Your Relationships With Others
1. Take the pressure off your kids. The ingredients for healthy child development include reasonable expectations and opportunities for unstructured play. Kids can enjoy swimming without trying to set Olympic records.
2. Praise your kids for their efforts. In the long run, a hard-earned B may be worth more than an easy A. Give your child a big hand for persisting with their math homework however long it takes.
3. Take pleasure in other people’s victories. Perfectionism can make you feel like a loser when you compare yourself to others. Turn that around by rejoicing in other people’s successes. This mindset will also enrich your relationships.
4. Talk about your struggles. It’s a great hardship to go through life feeling as if you must conceal your weaknesses. Sharing your challenges with others may help you find more support and gives other people the freedom to do the same.
5. Welcome feedback. Negative self-talk can make you apprehensive about criticism from others. Face the situation head on by asking for feedback. People usually appreciate being asked for their input and you’ll get valuable information.
6. Practice tolerance. Surgery needs to be precise, but many other things can withstand a little give and take. For example, if your spouse takes a different approach to vacuuming than you do, you and your house will both survive even if your partner does the vacuuming.
7. Take charge of your own happiness. As you recognize that your happiness comes from within, you’ll feel less need to try to control your environment and the behavior of others. Focus on maintaining your peace of mind even when things go wrong or just turn out different from what you expected.
Ease the pressure on yourself and others. By overcoming your perfectionism, you’ll enjoy more happiness and feel more energy. It’s actually easier to pursue excellence when you set realistic goals and know how to learn from your mistakes.