How will I give this presentation? What if I choke?
What if my friends think I’m weak?
Why can’t I be funnier, thinner, and a tad prettier?
Did you recognize yourself somewhere in these questions. There is no human who hasn’t faced the challenge of not being good enough for something. In fact, we don’t want to be just a bit better. We want to be perfect.
To a certain extent, the strive for perfectionism is good. It pushes us to try harder and make progress throughout life. However, too much perfectionism can seriously damage our ego and affect several areas of our lives. Let’s talk about relationships, for example. Have you ever tried to meet the expectations of a perfectionist partner? That was a mission impossible, wasn’t it? Such attitude puts an unbearable strain on the relationship.
Perfectionism holds you back from success in your studies, too. Katherine Smith, an editor from BestEssays, says that most students cannot edit their own papers because they try to make them perfect. “Once a student writers the paper, they start adding or taking away information. By the time they are done with the editing, the paper is unrecognizable and confusing. Perfectionists can’t recognize the it’s enough moment.”
Are you wondering how you can control your strive for perfectionism? There are certain tricks that can help you with that.
Recognize the Value of Mistakes
This sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? The value of mistakes… When you think about it, you can’t make progress without making mistakes and learning from them. Take rhythmic gymnasts for example. It took them a lifetime of practice to look nearly perfect, and they always have more space for growth. They never reach the point of being absolutely perfect. Each new trick they learn means thousands of failures along the way.
Thomas Edison recognized the value of mistakes when he was asked how he felt about failing. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” – he said.
Don’t beat yourself over mistakes. Recognize them! Learn the lesson they teach you and move forward.
Celebrate the Small Steps
Victories are easy to celebrate, aren’t they? However, a successful ending is not the only thing worthy of a celebration. What about the journey that gets you there? Recognize each step of progress you take towards achieving your goals. No matter how tiny it is, it’s still good news.
Further Reading: This is How You Can be 1% Better Every Day
Don’t Judge Too Soon
Growth is a never-ending process. There’s no such thing as overnight success. Let’s say you want to start practicing cardio fitness. You sign up for a course or you subscribe to a YouTube channel with the intention to practice every single day. At first, you won’t be able to do most of the exercises. You’ll be getting tired sooner than expected. If you lack patience, you’ll get disappointed thinking “I’m not good enough for this.”
Maybe you’re not able to achieve your goals in a day, but there’s always room for growth. Don’t judge too soon and keep trying!
Let Your Ideas Guide You
We all have ideals that we translate into goals. That’s the wrong approach to have. Your ideals should be guides, not absolutes. All the planning, effort, and persistence you invest into reaching those goals – that’s where the value is.
When you perceive your ideals as guiding principles instead of absolute goals, you’re being mindful about the journey. It won’t be perfect, but it will be good for you.
Further Reading: 7 Ways To Spark Out Ideas In Your Life
Stay in the Moment
Where do you want to be 5 years from today? You imagine yourself more successful, don’t you? That’s a good thing. However, this idea of a more successful future you makes you focused on the result. It boosts your ego, but it also leads to disappointment when you realize that you can’t achieve all goals you set.
Always stay in the present moment. You can visualize the future, but perceive it as growth from this very moment.
Accept Your Uniqueness
The strive for perfectionism is often related to the way we look in other people’s eyes. A pianist practices not only because they want to become better at what they do, but also because they want to sound perfect for the people in the concert hall. You want to do well on test not only because the mark shows how much you’ve learned, but also because you want to impress the teacher. Your parents, friends, partner, boss, teachers… everyone expects you to meet their standards.
It’s about time to realize that there’s nothing wrong in not meeting the expectations of others. Embrace your unique character and interests, and strive to grow from there. Don’t try to be perfect in the eyes of others!
Further Reading: 8 Hacks To Constantly Improve Yourself
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
If you compare yourself to others, you’ll never be good enough. You’ll always see someone who’s accomplishing more, and you’ll feel miserable about your own achievements. Such perfectionism creates a paradox – you’re always trying to get better, but you’re never reaching the good enough moment.
You’re the only person you should be comparing yourself to. Compare your current status to the starting point. You’re better, right? That’s good enough.
Don’t allow perfectionism to stand on your way to happiness. Start giving credit to all your achievements, no matter how minor they seem!