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How to Cope With Excessive Perfectionism

a perfectly organized table

Perfectionism might be a useful thing when it comes to doing something as good as you can and putting effort into academic assignments or your job. However, sometimes perfectionism might cause serious issues, even mental health problems, stress, and self-blaming. In order to live a happy and full life, a person should understand how to regulate their perfectionism and avoid being too hard on themselves. Keep reading to learn how to cope with excessive perfectionism.

A Need to Be Perfect

A perfect life, perfect results – these are the things that many people are trying to achieve. A belief that everything can be perfect is somewhat delusional, though, as it’s nearly impossible to achieve ideal results all the time without failing even once. And while the majority of people learn from their mistakes and are able to move forward from a negative experience, perfectionists are very focused on each of their imperfections, making it into a life-long battle with themselves and the whole world around them.

It’s no surprise that the inability to avoid focusing on mistakes or not being the best in some spheres causes serious mental health issues and high levels of stress. Being so judgmental about yourself can do no good in the long-time run. Perfectionists are the ones who more than others suffer from OCDs and also might be less emotionally stable.

And while the best option is to turn to a specialist for professional help, there are some small things that might help you cope with your excessive perfectionism and be less stressed about your studies, job, and life in general. Here are a few tips from us.

Set Goals that Are Reasonable

Not everyone is born to become a Nobile prize winner, right? Being hard on yourself for not winning one is that kind of tendency that you should cope with. There is nothing more destructive than setting unreasonable, unachievable short-time goals and later being sad and even punishing yourself for not hitting that goal. 

What you need to do is to make sure the goals you set are understandable and achievable. Low your standards when it comes to your school or job performance to a reasonable level. For example, finishing a dissertation in two months is cool, of course, but unrealistic. Being the best in every class is unrealistic. Getting the best job from the very beginning of your career is realistic but can depend on luck. 

Also. Try to avoid being that competitive when it comes to things that don’t really matter. For example, there is no need to get the best grades all the time – studying is no competition. 

Celebrate Small Victories

When you are a perfectionist, it’s hard to notice small victories because you are always in a rush to do even better. Once you start this game of outrunning others and your own previous results, it’s never going to stop. Make sure you appreciate and understand your effort. You can even treat yourself with something that you like whenever you finish a task or get control of your perfectionist tendencies.

Stay Optimistic

Optimism is always a good cure for things like perfectionism as they allow you to stop for a moment and appreciate the world around you instead of being focused on another thing that you should do right now. Whenever you feel down, make sure to remind yourself that you are worth living and being happy. That you don’t depend on your wins or fails. That you are more than grades or job salary. You are not perfect because no one is and no one should be. 

Don’t Treat Mistakes Like the End of the World

We all make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are small, sometimes big, sometimes they can stay unnoticed and live only in your memory, sometimes we get punished for them, and sometimes we just need to learn our lesson.

This is what makes a perfectionist addicted to success – they are afraid of making mistakes and afraid of being responsible. But the truth is – mistakes are inevitable. Moreover, we learn from mistakes and they make us better. 

Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Allow yourself to make them and you’ll see that your life becomes much easier and less stressed.

These are all of the tips that we have for you. Treat yourself as a person who is not afraid of being not the best in everything, be aware of tendencies, like self-blaming or even self-punishment, anxiety, nervousness, etc. And make sure you get therapy in case you want to get rid of perfectionism with help of a professional. We wish you a happy life and the best of luck!