6 Easy Ways to stop being a perfectionist
Personal Growth

6 Easy Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist

6 Easy Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist

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Perfectionism in psychology is a broad personality style characterized by a person’s concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. Perfectionism is perceived as the feeling of wanting to be someone without flaws or mistakes. It often eats deep into the mentality of someone struggling with self-confidence or self-esteem and someone who seeks acceptance either from friends or the society. This article contains a list of how to stop being a perfectionist.

“The desire for perfection often leads to the awakening of the Procrasdemon. Allowing yourself to make mistakes is the single most effective way to get rid of it” Neeraj Agnihotri.

Perfectionism puts you under a lot of stress and pressure which is quite bad for your mental and overall health. It makes you less efficient and less productive. I’m a recovering perfectionist and I know how stressful it is. The quest to please others, prove yourself, elevate one’s status and receive praises and gratification from others has always been my way of living until I got to college and realized my behavior. I got into college with this crazy idea that I’d always be the perfect and best student. Later on, I realized that this idea of mine wasn’t going to get me anywhere and it was instead taking away a lot of things from me. I lost many things during this quest both in my high school and when I got to college. My dreams and imaginations were mostly over the top. It’s a great thing to dream big but mine was a little too big. Perfectionists consider praises as a medium to uplift their self-esteem and self-confidence so they don’t joke with praises. They cherish and hold it dear which only fuels their zeal to attain that perfection that they so desire.

Do you struggle or suffer from perfectionism? Or are you a recovering perfectionist like me? Below are 6 easy ways to stop being a perfectionist:

Practice self-acceptance.

Low self-worth is the root of perfectionism. Perfectionists often experience feelings of unworthiness and tend to set high performance standards for themselves. Practicing self-acceptance is a one-way solution to perfectionism. You need to change the way you relate and associate with yourself rather than questioning and berating yourself all the time.

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” Lao Tzu.

You need to understand the fact that self-acceptance brings feelings of contentment, warmth, bliss and satisfaction to oneself. Therefore, it is pretty much essential to practice self-acceptance which is an easy way to stop being a perfectionist. When you learn to accept yourself for who you are and stop pulling up a mask to become someone else, you’ll discover that the society too will like you then.

Be kind to yourself

Perfectionists tend to set high performance standards and goals for themselves. They tend to strive and stress over things that they want to achieve and things they aren’t able to achieve. Perfectionists are highly sensitive to failure so they put their all into whatever they want to do to bring out a work of high standards just like they had envisioned.

Sometimes, you can’t stop yourself from making mistakes and when you do, tell yourself that it’s okay and stop being hard on yourself. Making mistakes doesn’t mean that you’re useless, unworthy or not fit enough to tackle the problem. Never let any feelings of shame and unworthiness wash over you. To stop being a perfectionist, you need to start to be kind to yourself and stop bickering over how you couldn’t achieve what you set out to do. You’re only human and humans are bound to make mistakes or fail.

“Being human is not being anyone particular way; it is about being as life creates you – with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities”. Kristin Neff.

Face your fears

Perfectionists are afraid of many things, starting from the fear of rejection to fear of not being accepted if they’re not perfect to fear of not doing something right to fear of people knowing who they really are. These fears make one indecisive and dependent on others. It makes one dependent on others’ approval and words to live life. To get rid of this fear, you have to cultivate the habit of not giving in to the temptations of these fears.

Are you afraid of talking and expressing yourself in front of your friends? Then take up the habit of expressing yourself and speak out your feelings. If you’re afraid of dressing the way you want because of your ‘classy’ friends, then get over that feeling and do what you want. Don’t let the feelings, reactions, thoughts and comments of others dictate the way you live your life or your happiness.

Facing your fears goes a long way in eliminating perfectionism. It will not only give you a new set of confidence to face the world but also give you a sense of satisfaction and relief knowing that you don’t have to mask your identity in the shadows while taking up on another. 

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You’re able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along’. You must do the thing you think you cannot do”. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Make a gratitude list

What is a better way to stop being a perfectionist than reliving your achievements and wins? Writing and reading up your wins and what you’re grateful for provides a sense of contentment and satisfaction with oneself. It eliminates the act of comparing yourself to others and the act of worrying over how you’re not good or fit enough for the people around you and the society.

Before retiring to bed every day, make it a habit of writing down all what you’re grateful for throughout the day and what you’ve achieved for that day. Read this list up at the end of every week to serve as a reminder of how fit and worthy that you’re and to also serve as a reminder of what you can do and achieve if you accept who you’re and how you’re.

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul”. Henry Ward Beecher.

Embrace failure

Failure is a part of success and if you accept this, you’ll be able to accept every other of your flaws and imperfections. Striving for perfection may lead to failure because perfectionism comes with the price of continually seeking to accomplish various tasks. No amount of accomplishment or success will be able to quench their thirst of perfection and each accomplishment will always lead to a bigger and riskier ambition which will only attract failure.

You must find ways to appreciate your wins, embrace your failures and take those failures as stepping stones towards your success. It will not only provide an opportunity to learn and experience more from life but it will also give you the chance to work through your failures as they come and move on from them instead of getting stuck while stressing over how others will see you and how they’ll feel about you after wards.

“Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that its necessary to learn and grow from”.

Celebrate your imperfections.

View your imperfections as your self-respect rather than flaws. When you do this, you’ll be able to stop being a perfectionist and reduce your high expectations of yourself. Accepting your imperfections brings about a sense of peace and worthiness. Be honest with yourself and allow yourself to experience freedom, love and happiness. Remember to tell yourself that there is nothing wrong with the way you are and you don’t need to modify or change yourself in order to fit in. Also, accept the clear fact that perfection is an unattainable goal. You should therefore learn to celebrate your flaws and faults and allow yourself to live a little.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”. Marilyn Monroe.

Bottom Line

Perfectionism is an extremely hard thing to overcome but when you start to accept that you’re not perfect and that you weren’t meant to be perfect, accept your imperfections, failures and fears, you’ll start to experience the beauty and joys and peace that there is to life.  

6 easy Ways to Stop being a Perfectionist

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25 thoughts on “6 Easy Ways to Stop Being a Perfectionist

  1. I really enjoyed this post and learned a lot from it. I definitely have tendencies towards perfectionism but as I’m aging I’m finding this less and less. Thanks for sharing this great post!

  2. Yes I did enjoy this post tysm! I do tend to suffer from perfectionism from time to time, I worry that people will not like the things I’ve created or that the things I’ve done aren’t good enough. On the surface I know that everything is perfectly fine I can still worry that it’ll not be accepted as I want it to be, or as I believe it (to be wrong in my mind) x
    This post was very helpful for me, so thank you. I especially enjoyed the quotes! Xo

    1. The important thing is that you don’t allow your perfectionism get the best of you. I’m glad you liked the quotes and enjoyed the post. I specially picked those quotes while preparing for this article. Thanks for your feedback Sarah

  3. Heartening and beautiful writing! I have a streak of perfectionism in me and it does flare up at times but recognizing its presence without letting it define/rule me is a great help in continuously moving forward in a positive mindset that embraces the perfection in the imperfect. 🙂

    1. You’re absolutely right Jaya. It took me a long time to recognize the perfectionist side of me but I’m glad I did. The most important thing is awareness and afterwards comes the challenging part which is not letting it define you. Thanks for your feedback.

      1. I can’t totally relate to this. I faced this struggle a lot in my high school. I was a total perfectionist but I’m glad it’s almost gone now.
        Thanks for reading James.

  4. Wow. I needed to see this post today I think!
    This is something I can definitely relate to, I always seem to stress too much about things and can’t cope with not having certain things be ‘perfect’. Your post has some really inspiring pointers and bits that really struck a chord with me so thank you for that.
    I also have a blog which talks about Mental Health etc. Please feel free to check it out 🙂

  5. Loved reading this! I think you’re so right! I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist however there are a lot of point in your post that I practice. I’ve found the older that I’ve gotten too the more I’ve been able to practice & the easier I’ve found self acceptance and gratitude. Thank you for this! I’m happy to have read this this morning.

    Claire.X
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

    1. Your comments are very pleasing. There are some habits of perfectionism that we do that we don’t realize but I’m glad you’ve realised that now. Self acceptance and gratitude are two things that I find effective because it helped me a lot in dealing with my perfectionist self. Thanks for reading Claire.

  6. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to certain aspects of my life – and then the opposite in other areas. That doesn’t even make sense but it’s totally true. I’m going to try to balance myself out to a happy medium.

    Some great tips in this post, thank you!
    Rosie

  7. I really enjoyed reading this! I am a perfectionist for some things and it truly doesn’t help, makes me doubt myself and what I can do. So embracing failure and making a gratitude list sound like great ideas to try out! Thanks for sharing x

  8. I needed to read this. I love these tips, especially the part about celebrating your imperfections. I can be so hard on myself sometimes, despite knowing that it is counterproductive. Thank you for sharing this!

  9. This is an absolutely amazing post, so very well written. There’s so much advice and heartfelt knowledge in here. I’ll be taking on a lot of these tips lovely. All the best, Amy at amymarshment.com xx

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