How to Overcome Perfectionism Once And For All
I never felt like I had a perfectionism problem. But you know… if you suffer from this thought, “I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to…(fill in the blank)”, then today’s topic is something you want to stay tuned for. When I was running a community for bloggers, I frequently heard the phrase, “I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to launch my blog.” I’m not poking fun of you or anyone, I myself suffer from the perfectionism syndrome too. So today, I’m going to talk about how to overcome perfectionism. Before I get into how to overcome perfectionism, I’ll like to talk a little about the downside of striving for perfection.
#1 Perfectionism causes analysis paralysis.
Because there’s no one to tell us when we’ve reached perfectionism status, if you strive for perfectionism, you’ll end up telling yourself everything you do isn’t good enough.
This eventually leads to a negative feedback loop where you’re constantly analyzing if something is good enough. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy where you end up believing what you do really isn’t good enough. And thus, you never get anything done.
#2 Perfectionism makes you lose confidence in your own great work.
Most of the time, we want things to be perfect because we’re afraid that people will criticize us for poor work. But here’s the thing… many content creators, bloggers, and people put out great work and they get their fair share of criticisms. Criticisms will always be a part of life… you can’t escape it though you can ignore it when it’s irrelevant.
If you’re constantly trying to get everything perfect before you put anything out there, you’ll eventually lose confidence in your own work.
Why is that?
If you’re never ready to put your work out there to let the world see and love it, you’ll never get feedback on how to better revise it.
#3 Perfectionism makes us stubborn and believe that things are either or.
Believe that things are either black or white. Good or bad. But in reality, that isn’t true. Your work isn’t completely 100% good or bad. There are always areas where you’re very good at (and those are your strengths) and areas where you can improve on.
Striving for perfectionism will strip you that opportunity to continue to improve. Things don’t need to be perfect before you put it out there. Practice makes perfect. Each time you put something out there, you’re already making it better. Your current work is already better than your last piece of work.
How to Overcome Perfectionism
Now you know why you shouldn’t strive for perfectionism. In the rest of this article, I’ll walk you through how to overcome perfectionism the next time you feel that perfection monster inside you creep up.
Step 1: Understand that there is no such thing as perfectionism.
There’s no such thing as perfectionism because there’s really no one to determine what’s perfect or what’s not. If you’re use to a system where your parents, bosses, teachers, or professors tell you what’s good or not, know that in adult life, there’s no one to tell you what’s best for yourself.
The best thing about being in your twenties and beyond is that there isn’t anyone to tell you what’s perfect, what’s good enough and what’s not good enough. People are certainly entitled to their own opinions, but you don’t have to take their opinions if you don’t find they serve you well.
At the end of the day, if you’re always striving for perfection, there’s no one who can tell you it’s perfect. Rather ask yourself, “Is this the best work that I can do at this point in time?” If the answer is yes, put it out there.
Ten years from now, you’ll probably look back at your work and realize that you could’ve done better. But guess what? It’s because you’ve grown, you’ve experienced more, and you know more now. That doesn’t make the work you did 10 years ago was imperfect; it simply means you gave it all that you know at that point in time.
Step 2: Be consciously aware each time you try to perfect something.
Each time you’re trying to perfect something, take a step away from your “perfectionist” cap. If you can take a step back, you can redirect your thoughts and tell yourself, “There’s no such thing as perfectionism, I can only try my best with what I know right now.”
Most of the time, you’ll realize that what you want isn’t perfection, but just to try your best given what you have at that time.
Step 3: Replace your need for perfectionism with people’s need for consistency.
Remember how I said we shouldn’t be striving for perfectionism because what you consider perfect might be imperfect to someone else? And what you consider perfect others might criticize.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
Instead what people want isn’t perfectionism, it’s consistency. Whether you’re a content creator, blogger, YouTuber, you’re working on building a habit or doing something else, always strive for consistency.
Be consistent in what you’re doing. Be consistent in publishing. Be consistent in building your good habits. People will notice consistency way more than perfectionism because the latter is so subjective.
That’s it for today! I hope this article has helped you see perfectionism in a new light. Learning how to overcome perfectionism isn’t difficult as long as you understand that there’s no one but yourself that’s holding you back.