12 Ways to Overcome the Stress of Perfectionism

by thecharmingsoul


Perfectionism is not necessarily a bad thing. When you try to do your best and see the failures as learning opportunities, this is what we call good perfectionism. But when you see yourself as a failure if you can’t or don’t achieve precisely what you have in mind, this indicates an obsession. Here, perfectionism is nothing but an illusion with nothing good to offer you as it does not let you feel satisfied with yourself.

Following perfectionism, you think you are doing great in life, handling your affairs right like a champion. But you can never perform the same at everything in life. And when that happens, all that is left for you to feel is frustration and anxiety.

Sadly, it is not entirely your fault, to begin with. Our society has conditioned us into thinking that anything less than the ideal is not worth it. We think we can score a good goal in life only if we thrive on being the best. However, that is certainly not true – you don’t need to get anywhere near ideal to be understood, appreciated, and supported through your journey.

So, you need to overcome the stress of perfectionism. Overcoming perfectionism is the only way through which you can continue living a happy, contented, comfortable, and peaceful life.

1.  Keep It Light On Expectations

When you are talking about keeping it light on the expectations, it essentially means to expect yourself to do good but not perfect. It is alright to keep low or moderate expectations. So, squeeze it down a bit and try going for the optimistic side. Do not be the parent who expects their kid to always be first in the exam or win the race every time.

Rationalize things and be the person who realizes that perfection is a flaw in itself, and by running after perfections, you are only going to get too hard on yourself and others around you. When you are always expecting too much high from yourself, you end up breaking your heart and hurt others you love.

2.  Know Your Journey

“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”  Billy Joel

It is vital to acknowledge the role of your journey as you work towards a certain goal. We all might be running for a specific target, but we all don’t have the same story. Everyone has seen different kinds of struggles in their lives. It would be unfair to anyone if they are considered a failure when they cannot do something others can. Now, society is not going to understand it, but you must if you don’t want to give in to the stress of perfectionism.

3.  Choose One Track

As you decide to follow your dreams, it is important to recognize that choosing multiple destinations for yourself is a big red flag you must avoid. By choosing a track, you decide not to limit your dreams but to choose a direction you can work for to the best of your abilities. Defining a specific pathway for yourself only means activating your full potential, bringing all your attention to that one target.

This way, you don’t feel overwhelmed with stress as you go about your goals and are able to perform better and consequently feel better without losing your sanity in the process.

4.  Focus On The Now, Forget The Results

People having the addiction to perfectionism tend to focus a lot on the end product that is going to be there once they are finished doing their work. It is not the best road to take because when we are too much focused on getting the results instead of actually being in the present, we are only living with anxiety we have for the future and a fear of so-called imperfect end product. It makes our task difficult to work on as we are mentally frustrated with the result that is also frustration.

5.  Have Fun

A simple rule to follow in different aspects of life is to always remember that life is too short. It is not worth it to worry and stress over petty things that hold no importance when you consider living in the bigger picture. Try having fun with whatever you do and whenever you can and live life for what it is. You need to see the bigger picture that your life and the universe are showing you and live accordingly.

Instead of getting stressed, try simplifying things and enjoy the best moments in your life. This will keep you charged up for better things to come. Surely, life has a lot to offer to you, so stop sacrificing your peace for the sake of running after perfectionism.

6.  Choose Yourself

It is a time of severe distress or not; choose yourself. Remember, your goals should work for you, and you don’t have to work for them. Instead of sacrificing yourself for the sake of your goals, try to find meaning in your purpose. So, don’t forget to stop and ask, “What does it contain for me?” This way, you will be able to choose yourself every time you find yourself getting consumed in the trap of perfection.

7.  Learn to Laugh at Your Mistakes

Life is simple, and it can use a bit of humor as well. Don’t get yourself into thinking that laughing at your mistakes is something non-serious people do in their lives.

Humor is one of the most intelligent things you can do. It shows how emotionally regulated you are and how you have a bigger perspective of things than most people. You won’t feel weak as you go through some mistakes. Instead, you will learn to embrace them, and as the smart person that you are, you will learn from your mistakes, coming out as a stronger, wiser person every time.

8.  Set Realistic Goals With limits

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success”.  James Cameron

One sensitive detail you need to keep in mind regarding your goals is to know about your limitations. It isn’t something to be embarrassed about yourself; rather, it is a thing that makes you a human. You can’t expect your best friend to be knowing everything about you. In a similar fashion, you can’t expect yourself to be able to do everything.

As humans, we all have our weaknesses and strengths, and the earlier you realize them, the better you can perform.

9.  Be Your Best Friend

“The best friend you will ever find is you. You must love yourself with joy to fill your heart with bliss and happiness.” Debasish Mridha

Without taking a second, learn to embrace your flaws and be friends with yourself before you try judging yourself for every wrong you did. Don’t treat yourself like an enemy. Rather, choose to treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. This way, you will be able to trust in yourself and have hope for better chances. So, don’t worry if you are not able to go with the organized plan; be easy on yourself and look forward to making things better next time.

10.   Share Your Pain

Often it’s the deepest pain that empowers you to grow into your highest self. Karen Salmansohn

You need to share your pain with the people you trust. By bottling it up all inside, you get more worried and frustrated about your life, societal stress, and goals. You second-guess yourself, and you think that people are better off without knowing what problems are making you worried.

This can lead you to build high expectations about yourself, and you may think “toughening things a bit” will make you achieve your goals. This is not productive at all, and it will lead you into a vicious cycle of self-hatred, which you don’t want

11.  Have a Learning Mindset

It is always better to have an open channel and get the space you need to learn, unlearn, and relearn new things. As you create a learning mindset, you feel more open to new experiences, ideas, and philosophies. Having a learning mindset will also help you to see that too much perfection is, in fact, a toxic thing to run for. The best thing it will do for you is to help you get the long ride where you are better able to manifest positive powers for yourself.

12.  Loosen Up The Routine

You need to make sure that you don’t overdo the discipline game you have designed for yourself. It is productive to wake up at 5 in the morning every day to work for your goals, but it is equally important to take that much-needed vacation to relax and energize your mind, body, and soul. It is perfectly fine to loosen up your tight schedule and get yourself the time and space you need to relax.

Not to forget, it will be equally good for your work life as well as it will free you of stress and give you the energy to face new challenges.

Final Words

Going after perfectionism for everything and every level in life can land you in more and more distress. It is not every time that we are able to get the excellent results we want; this is the truth you need to realize, or else you will start living a life that is sharply out of balance.



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