Perfectionism is silly.
What’s most annoying about perfectionism is the fact that it’s our own doing and stems from an illusion.
We can’t fault ourselves though.
People like us who uphold high standards are nothing if we don’t strive for such an accolade, right?
Except… there’s no such thing as perfection.
Often times, what we try to achieve in the name of perfection is to avoid criticism from others.
Let’s say you love drawing and are proud of your work.
You immerse yourself and produce what you consider a work of art.
You show it to your best friend with a little nervousness and excitement.
What you hear is her passing remark about a certain shape, which makes you go back and change it a bit.
Then your sister comments on the choice of objects in your drawing.
Her idea sounds better.
So you think.
You tweak it yet again.
After a couple more tweaks, you’re now unsure whether you’re ready to share your work with the rest of the world.
You don’t feel it’s ready or if it’ll ever be!
That’s how perfectionism affects you and your work.
Your work takes longer and longer to complete.
You try to cover all the possible angles just so you can avoid potential criticism from others, which perfectionists perceive to be a failure.
It’s a futile attempt.
Look at Amazon’s reviews.
Pick any one of the bestsellers. They all have 1 star reviews.
We can’t escape others’ criticism.
So, how do we overcome perfectionism?
Accept Your Own Best As Good Enough
A few people may hit the jackpot with the first novel, and that’s it; the rest is a flop.
Most people likely have to produce several books before one of them makes the New York Times bestseller list.
You can’t control how things turn out or how others perceive your work.
What you have control over is the ability to carry on no matter what.
Relish your passion in the process, be happy with good enough, do a little more to get better each day, and keep putting yourself out there.
Don’t Take Criticism As a Gospel
People judge you and your work according to their own perceptions.
Their feedback is nothing more than an opinion.
The thing about opinions is that they aren’t always right.
If I were an author, I’d just assume everything said in 5-star reviews is correct and those 1-star reviews are wrong (and ignore them).
It’s good for my (and your) soul!
As long as you enjoy your work, which aligns with your beliefs and values, understand that there’ll always be someone who doesn’t agree with you or appreciate you.
That’s okay. You don’t want them anyway.
The world is big.
There are enough people who will appreciate what you do and what you have to offer.
Even if you don’t feel good enough now, producing good-enough-for-now work is far better than hiding behind perfectionism and letting potential criticism stop you from doing what you love doing.
Besides, it’s been proven that quantity wins quality over time.
Trust Your Instinct
Trust your instinct and do more of all the things that make you buoyant.
Don’t be swayed by others’ seemingly pitch-perfect lifestyles on social media.
Those are their highs. You didn’t see their lows.
You know life isn’t a Hollywood movie.
A prince charming on a white horse with your red shoe in his hand is knocking on your door.
It ain’t going happen.
You lost it on your night out, never to be seen again.
99% of the time, we know what’s right for us.
That intuition we feel deep inside tells us to trust it.
We know what makes us happy and what feels right to do.
Even when things are imperfect, listen to your intuition and follow its commands.
Shut Your Inner Critic
On the surface, you may not see a difference between a perfectionist and a high achiever: they both strive for excellence.
Here are the differences.
High achievers can be happy with their achievements while learning from their mistakes.
They accept temporary setbacks and learn from them.
They recognise them as a stepping stone towards success.
Perfectionists beat themselves up, lose focus, and lose motivation.
Or eventually give up due to fear of failure or more criticism.
Quiet your inner critic by focusing on the positive aspects of your achievements.
Enjoy the feeling of losing track of time because you love what you do so much.
Don’t make perfection your goals.
It’s a tough life ahead if you do not just for yourself but for others around you.
A perfectionist sees shortcomings and faults.
“Nothing is ever good enough” means unhappiness, anger, and frustration.
Watch out for your perfectionism tendency, choose to live with “good enough for today” (after you’ve done your best!), be happy with your progress, and anticipate becoming better every day.
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