Overcoming Perfectionism

- POSTED ON: Feb 17, 2012


Today, while I was (...finally...) doing my laundry, 
I was thinking about the fact that no matter what task I'm engaged in,
I find a voice inside of me telling me
that I should be doing more,
or that I should be doing something else.

So, I started thinking about the fact that I was thinking that,
and about the definition of that type of thinking.

I've never thought of myself as a perfectionist,
think of myself as more of a pragmatist,
my solution is "whatever works".

Still, I went searching for the definition of perfectionism,
which resulted in the following:

Perfectionism includes:

The irrational belief that you and/or your environment must be perfectly as you wish it to be.

The striving to be the best, to reach the ideal and it is unacceptable to make mistakes.

A habit developed from youth that keeps you constantly alert to the imperfections, failings,
and weakness in yourself and others.

A level of consciousness that keeps you ever vigilant to any deviations from the norm,
the guidelines or the way things are "supposed to be".

The belief that no matter what you attempt it is never "good enough" to meet
your own or others' expectations.

 This led me to see that although, I'm not exactly a perfectionist,
there are elements of perfectionism in my character.

So, what rational behaviors are needed to overcome perfectionist tendencies?
To overcome perfectionism, one needs to:

Accept self as a human being.

Forgive self for mistakes or failings.

Accept that the ideal is only a guideline or goal to be worked toward,
not to be achieved 100 percent.

Set realistic and flexible time frames for the achievement of a goal.

Develop a sense of patience and to reduce the need to "get it done yesterday".

Be easier on oneself; setting unrealistic or unreasonable goals
or deadlines sets you up for failure.

Recognize that the human condition is one of failings, weakness, deviations,
imperfections and mistakes; it is acceptable to be human.

Develop an ability to use "thought stopping" techniques whenever you find yourself
mentally scolding yourself for not being "good enough".

Visualize reality as it will be for a human rather than for a super human.

Learn to accept yourself the way you are; let go of the ideas of how you should be.

Learn to enjoy success without the need to second guess
your ability to sustain the achievement.

Love yourself; to believe that you deserve good things.

To eliminate unrealistic expectations and the idea that you are infallible.

Visualize yourself as "winning" even when it takes more energy,
and more perseverance, than what you had planned.

Let go of rigid, moralistic judgments of your performance and to develop
an open, compassionate understanding for the hard times, obstacles and temptations.

Be flexible in setting goals and be willing to reassess your plan
from time to time to keep things realistic.

Realize that the important thing is to be going in a positive direction.

 Can I do these things?

I don't have to be Perfect. .......  LOL   

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