How to Overcome Annoyingly Inane Perfectionism

Have you ever thought perfectionism is just a bit, well, ridiculous?

It’s maddeningly so.

And the real kicker?

It’s all an illusion of our own making.

But hold up; we can’t beat ourselves up too badly about it.

After all, we’re just folks who uphold high standards, right? We’re just trying to shine a bit brighter and strive a bit harder. 

But here’s the thing – perfection doesn’t actually exist. 

Trading Perfection for Authentic Approval

Deep down, our so-called quest for perfection often masks an effort to dodge the dreaded critique.

Let’s paint a picture.

Imagine you’ve got this passion for drawing.

You pour your heart and soul into a piece, and, buzzing with a mix of nerves and excitement, you show your masterpiece to your best mate.

Their offhand comment about a wonky shape sends you back to the drawing board, your pencil making swift alterations.

Then your sister chimes in, questioning the choice of objects in your art.

Her idea seems more appealing, so you adjust again. 

Tackling the Hurdles of Being a Perfectionist

This continues, and before you know it, you’re tweaking your work endlessly, questioning if it’s ever going to be ready for the world to see.

That’s perfectionism for you, creeping up and slowing down your work.

You find yourself trying to pre-empt every possible criticism, every potential ‘failure’.

But really, isn’t that just a wild goose chase? 

The Power of Embracing Imperfections

Take a look at Amazon’s reviews.

Check out any bestseller – they all have one-star reviews.

No exceptions.

Criticism, it seems, is an inescapable part of life.

So, the million-dollar question is, “How to overcome perfectionism?”

Let’s delve deeper in the following sections.

Finding Strength in “Good Enough”

Have you ever noticed how rarely someone strikes gold with their first novel?

It’s a tad like winning the lottery.

For most folks, it takes quite a few books before they hit the sweet spot of the New York Times bestseller list.

Here’s the thing: you can’t control how others perceive your work or how things pan out.

What you can control, though, is your will to keep going no matter what.

So, revel in your passion, enjoy the journey, and be content with ‘good enough’.

Strive to improve a little every day and keep putting yourself out there.

Deciphering Criticism: A Matter of Perspective

And when you do put yourself out there, remember that criticism isn’t gospel.

It’s simply a reflection of people’s perceptions.

Their feedback?

Just opinions.

And let’s be real, opinions aren’t always right. 

If I were an author, I’d treat all five-star reviews as gospel and pay no mind to the one-star ones.

Not only is it good for my soul, but it’ll be good for yours too!

Staying True to Your Work and Personal Values

As long as you enjoy your work and it aligns with your values, know this:

There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you.

And guess what?

That’s perfectly okay!

They’re not your crowd, anyway. 

Our world is vast and teeming with people who’ll appreciate what you do and what you bring to the table.

So, even if you don’t feel up to snuff now, getting your ‘good-enough-for-now’ work out there beats hiding behind perfectionism and letting fear of criticism paralyse you. 

And here’s a nugget of wisdom: quantity often triumphs over quality in the long run.

This is another key on how to overcome perfectionism.

Honouring Your Inner Voice Amidst Imperfections

Trust your gut and indulge in what lights you up.

Don’t be swayed by those glamorous social media feeds showcasing pitch-perfect lives.

Remember, they’re only showing you their highs, not their lows.

Life isn’t a Hollywood movie, you know.

Prince Charming isn’t going to show up on a white horse with that red shoe you lost during a night out.

More often than not, the shoe stays lost!

Most of the time, we inherently know what’s right for us.

That gut feeling?

It’s begging you to trust it.

You know what brings you joy and what feels right to do.

So even when things aren’t perfect, lean into your intuition and heed its whispers.

Quieting the Nagging Inner Critic

On the surface, it may seem like there’s no difference between a high achiever and a perfectionist – they both strive for excellence, right?

But let’s peel back the layers.

High achievers take joy in their accomplishments and learn from their mistakes.

They accept setbacks as stepping stones towards success.

On the flip side, perfectionists are their own worst critics.

They lose focus and motivation and may even give up, fearing failure or criticism.

So, how to overcome perfectionism?

Start by taming your inner critic.

Focus on the positive aspects of your achievements.

Lose yourself in the joy of doing what you love.

Final Thoughts: The Freedom of Letting Go of Perfection

Make no mistake, perfection shouldn’t be your endgame.

It’s a tough road, not just for you but for those around you as well.

Perfectionists often only see flaws and shortcomings, leading to a life filled with unhappiness, anger, and frustration.

Keep an eye out for tendencies toward perfectionism, opt for a “good enough for today” attitude (after giving it your best shot!), celebrate your progress, and look forward to improving every day.

After all, life isn’t about achieving perfection; it’s about growth and contentment.

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