Overcoming Perfectionism

Perfectionism, for some, can hinder productivity, performance, and confidence.

Learning to be content with getting something done, even if it’s imperfect, is an important skill that can help you overcome, or channel, perfectionism and increase your productivity and confidence. This newsletter gives you five strategies to do just that.

When Perfectionism Hurts Us

While striving for perfection is commendable, and in line with becoming your best, it can become a hinderance when it prevents you from taking action, wrapping up a task, or when it leads to discouragement and negative self-talk.

Specifically, we’ve found that some people hesitate to develop a personal written vision, set goals, or pre-week plan because it’s “not quite perfect” or “I want this to be just right!” or “I didn’t complete it right last time.”

So, if you find yourself hesitating to start, or beating yourself up when you’ve given your best effort, below are five strategies you can use to overcome — and channel — your perfectionism.

Five Strategies to Overcome and Channel Perfectionism

  1. Embrace a growth mindset: Instead of focusing on perfection and being overly critical of yourself, adopt a growth mindset that emphasizes learning and improvement over outcomes. Recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and that each mistake provides an opportunity to grow and improve.  Shouldn’t growth and improvement be the focus? So, start! And focus more on learning, improvement, and progress along the way! That is a growth mindset.
  2. Celebrate progress: Instead of fixating on the final outcome or product, focus on the progress you are making. Celebrate small wins along the way, such as completing a task or making progress on a project. This can help you stay motivated and feel good about the work you are doing, even if it’s not perfect.
  3. Set realistic expectations: Be realistic about what you can accomplish and set achievable goals for yourself. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or disappointed when things don’t go perfectly.
  4. Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, even when things don’t go as planned. Instead of being overly critical of yourself, offer yourself words of encouragement and support. Learn to pick yourself up.
  5. Learn from mistakes: Instead of dwelling on mistakes, use them as an opportunity to learn and improve. Ask yourself what you can do differently next time to improve your performance. Then, try again and keep going. Success is found in trying again, having learned from mistakes. Truly, mistakes and failure are the stepping stones on the path to success.

Wrapping Up

In summary, to be content with getting something done, even if it’s imperfect, adopt a growth mindset, celebrate progress, set realistic expectations, practice self-compassion, and learn from mistakes. By using these strategies, you can learn to embrace imperfection, channel your perefectionism, and be more content with the work you are doing.

“Done is better than perfect” – Sheryl Sandberg

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