Jan. 20, 2023

How to Overcome Perfectionism

How to Overcome Perfectionism

Do you feel lazy or like you lack willpower because you’re not accomplishing the things you set out to do? You may be suffering from perfectionism. In this blog post, I will teach you my 3 ways to get over perfectionism. Prefer to listen to the podcast? Check out Letting Go of Perfectionism - Ep.22!

1. Challenge Your Inner Thoughts

To let go of your perfectionistic tendencies, I would start by challenging your inner thoughts. Think of it as a conversation with yourself with the goal of overcoming negative thinking. So, if you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk such as, "I can't do this". "I'm lazy". Or "I don't have what it takes" then this is your first step. 

The way to challenge those inner thoughts is with positive self-talk. And I know you hear this all the time with the overuse of positive affirmations so this might sound like a whole lot of BS for some people. But stick with me for a second! For me, positive self-talk is really about grounding myself in reality. It's about staying humble, but also motivating and pushing yourself because reaching your potential is a positive thing, and that's a success.

So how do we go about challenging our inner thoughts, and countering this negative self-talk with positive talk? Every time you have a negative thought, the first thing I want you to do is to write it down. Whether you have a phone or piece of paper, write it down just to bring the idea to life. Then think about it for a second, because most of the time when you read it, it will sound absolutely ridiculous!

Then after you've written that down, you need to think about where this negative thought stems from. What need must be fulfilled? Once you've determined the need you can then rephrase the thought in a positive light to counter the idea. So, instead of "I'm overweight or I'm underweight" instead, I would say "I'm working on myself to improve my performance so that there's no debate that I belong on this team".

That's a positive way of spinning that although there's a gap in performance, you are working towards achieving that. Rather than looking at how far you are from reaching the goal, look at how much closer you're getting to your goal. And that's the idea of challenging your inner thoughts. 

2. Balanced Lifestyle

A second strategy to let go of perfectionism is rooted in understanding your need for balance. If you are simply accepting negative self-talk, you have no need or desire for balance. The way I think of life in a balanced way is in the shape of a triangle. In a YouTube video about journaling and self-improvement, I learned about the aspect of a balanced triangle where you balanced work, play and rest.

So, you should have equal parts work, equal parts play, and equal parts rest, that is the strongest way to keep your triangle of life in balance. If any of those parts give out, the triangle collapses.  To apply that to your life, think about what you may be doing too much or not enough of. This will help you identify why you feel so conflicted and where you can improve.

3. Clear Your Mind

The last piece of advice that I have for you is to give your thoughts an escape hatch. It goes right back to clear your mind. Did you know that our brains are actually meant to generate thoughts and ideas but not meant to store that information? And that's why we need an escape hatch for our thoughts. We're most successful when we produce output, and we create because we're getting the ideas out of our heads and producing them into reality.

To create an escape hatch for yourself, and for your mind, you can engage in mindful activities such as listening to music, journaling and meditating, you can even socialize with friends. The goal is to get your mind to change its focus while also releasing your thoughts.

For more self-improvement content check out our catalogue on the podcast and on the blog.