Perfection Doesn’t Exist. Give It Up.

3 Steps To Conquer Perfectionism

Stefan James
Mar 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Perfectionism is the killer of productivity and creativity, yet so many of us strive to achieve it.

Are you a perfectionist? Do you strive for flawlessness in everything that you do? If this is you, I hate to break it to you, but perfection doesn’t exist, so it’s time to give it up.

Don’t get down on yourself. It’s not your fault.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that perfectionism means that we take pride in our work and that we appreciate attention to detail. However, in actuality, this mindset is a recipe for disaster. In our quest to “be the best”, we lose ourselves and sometimes, our sanity.

If you are like this, you aren’t alone.

Do you want to learn more about why you need to stop trying to be perfect? CLICK HERE to read my blog post!

Perfectionism is a hidden epidemic among young people today. In their study that examined more than 40,000 American, British and Canadian college students, ages 18 to 25, Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill found that the majority of them showed signs of what they call “multidimensional perfectionism” — meaning perfectionism driven by unrealistically high expectations.

It’s important to differentiate between excellence and perfectionism. They are opposite ends of the continuum. Whereas excellence paves the road for growth and never ending improvement, perfection paves the road for failure and stagnation.

As Dan Miller says, “Perfectionism is not as much the desire for excellence, as it is the fear of failure couched in procrastination .”

Ask yourself, “Are you striving for excellence or obsessing over perfection?”

Yes, perfectionism an easy trap to fall into, but the further down the perfection hole you go, the more it hurts every area of your life, which is why you need to take control of your life now and stop trying to be perfect!

I’ve got great news. Perfectionism is a skill that you can unlearn. Let’s explore 3 steps that you can take in order to conquer perfectionism for good.

  1. Practice Being Imperfect

One of the driving forces behind perfectionism is a desire to be loved and accepted by others. However, when you practice being imperfect, it helps you realize that good enough is good enough. More importantly, it is an opportunity to accept who you are and world doesn’t end when things aren’t perfect.

In “The Artist’s Way,” author Julia Cameron writes: “Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop–an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole.”

Perfectionism is usually associated with a fear of failure. If you are constantly obsessing about living up to your perfectionistic standards, do the opposite and fail on purpose, because it will show you tough you really are.

2. Set SMART Goals

Setting goals can be challenging for anyone, but when you are a perfectionist, it can feel like a nightmare. Why?

Perfectionists tend to set goals that are difficult or near impossible to achieve. As a result, they tend to fall into a negative cycle of frustration and disappointment when they can’t follow through.

What’s the solution? Learn how to set SMART goals; these are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. You will be surprised how much more you accomplish in a shorter period of time, giving you the momentum that you need to keep setting bigger goals.

3. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Don’t fall into the perfectionist trap and compare yourself to others’ accomplishments.

According to Barry Swartz and his book The Paradox of Choice, perfectionists always compare their decisions with those of other people. If you are constantly focusing on other people’s lives, you won’t be focused on your own.

Oftentimes we can be so hard on ourselves. Make an effort to take note of your capabilities and how far you’ve come. Live by your own definition of success. At the end of the day, the image that you see in the mirror is the only competition that you need to worry about.

Perfectionism doesn’t exist. Are you ready to give it up and break out of the prison of perfection?

Thank you for reading!

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Feel free to leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter or check out my website, Project Life Mastery!

Stefan James

Written by

I’m a life and online business strategist dedicated to helping you create freedom and master your life. To learn more, go to:

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