Overcoming perfectionism is one of those goals we believe it’s nearly impossible to overcome. Not because it’s some kind of an invincible force, but because perfectionism carries a burden heavier and more difficult than most emotions. And we are all about learning, improving, and moving forward. I am a perfectionist myself sometimes, I admit it. But I found an effective and an easy way to overcome it.
Overcoming perfectionism through acceptance
Imagine you are a main character in a video game. We all know that in every video game there’s a main quest you need to complete, and then there are optional ones. When you finish the main story, you win, and the game thanks you for your time and rewards you in some way. Good feeling, right? But there’s something you feel is missing still.
Remember the optional quests? As with overcoming perfectionism, your thoughts that are not vital for your daily decision making are preventing you to be fully happy you reach your destination. It should be enough that you completed the task. But you sense you’re not fully satisfied. Your mind simply didn’t have enough. You haven’t completed the optional quest, so now you feel that what you did is mediocre.
You feel as if you didn’t do a good job. So you start being hard on yourself, how could you miss something like this, and why it’s still not enough. Surely, the result would be much better if you did everything perfectly? Wrong. I deliberately used a video game example because at the end of every game when you complete the main story, you’ve won! No questions asked. It was enough, accept that. Same with overcoming perfectionism.
You did more than enough
Overcoming perfectionism is not about doing every single detail, task, or a quest, and bringing it to a perfection, because there’s no such thing. There is no such thing as perfect. My dear friend and one of the founders of Dauntless Inspiration, Giselle, always tells me to give it my all, but that I should be happy with the result, no matter what it is, period. Her wise words finally found their way into my mind.
Like the main character in our video game, you did your best and you gave your maximum. That is enough. Please don’t get me wrong, going that extra mile is important, but not at the price of your health and happiness. When you finish a task, don’t doubt the result. Instead acknowledge that you did everything which was in your power to complete it.
Overcoming perfectionism is all about recognizing that your effort gave you the result you wanted. You must understand, there’s a difference between going the extra mile, and just pushing yourself for no good reason. I should know, because I used to push myself beyond my breaking point regularly which only caused overwhelm and anxiety.
Remember, it’s okay to strive towards the best possible solution. But please don’t lose yourself in that journey. What good is the result if you are just too overwhelmed and tired to enjoy it in the end?
Pat yourself on the back, because you did enough. Enjoy in what you accomplished, smile, and be happy about it. You deserve that smile. 😊
Are you a perfectionist? What’s your experience with perfectionism? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!