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Simple Ways to Overcome Perfectionism 

Have you ever wanted everything to be perfect before you “took the next step”? Let us ask you … did you ever actually take that “next step”?  If not, you might suffer from perfectionism. Below we provide you with simple ways to overcome perfectionism, so it won’t stop you from ACTION. 

We hope these tips help you turn your perfectionism into progress.  

Turn mistakes into learning opportunities.

A large rock with words written in marker that reads “the world was made for beautiful mistakes.”

In almost any motivational speech you listen to, you’ll hear something along the lines of, “fail until you succeed.” Easier said than done, right? Making mistakes isn’t anyone’s favorite thing. And even though we all know it’s unavoidable, we still manage to get wrapped up in this idea of perfection. 

John Maxwell even has a book called Failing Forward. In his own definition, Failing Forward “is the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down, learn from your mistake, and move forward in a better direction.” 

Failure is all about how you react to it. And the sooner we turn our mistakes into learning opportunities, the sooner we will accept that not being “perfect” is not only inevitable … it’s perfectly normal. 

Focus on joy. 

It’s amazing what happens to your overall outlook on life when you’re doing what you love. Focusing on joy is a simple yet effective way to overcome perfectionism. 

Time Magazine references a study conducted by The Journal of Positive Psychology that demonstrated how people who appreciated the small things in life maintained high levels of happiness no matter what. 

Focusing on the small things that bring you joy can be as simple as savoring your morning shower, rereading your favorite book, playing games with your kids without distractions, or meeting a friend for coffee. 

The point is, do what brings you joy, and focus on appreciating them. It would be difficult to stay mad at imperfection when you’re loving the little things in life along the way. 

Do daily affirmations. 

A person holds up a white mug with gold lettering that reads “Good Enough.”

As a perfectionist, you may be prone to negative self-talk. But let’s not be so hard on ourselves, friends. We understand that it’s not easy to turn off this switch, but making daily affirmations a priority may help. 

Daily affirmations are a fantastic practice that helps you reframe negative self-talk into positive thoughts and actions. You might be asking, “does it really work?” According to Healthline, “affirmations generally work as a tool for shifting your mindset and achieving your goals, but they’re not a magic bullet for instant success or healing.” 

We still must do the things that are going to move us forward. But because perfectionism can sometimes paralyze us, focusing on our mindset is a necessary first step in overcoming that inaction. 

Eliminate the negative. 

Having control over your mindset is an important piece to overcoming perfectionism. Obsessing over being perfect can become a toxic downward spiral. Pair that with other negative things in our lives, and it’s a recipe for disaster. 

The good news is that we have some control. Obviously, life happens, and we can’t always stop bad things from transpiring. But, we do have control over how we react. 

We have control over eliminating things that don’t bring us joy. We have control over the boundaries we set with people who drain our energy. We have control over negative self-talk (see “daily affirmations” above 😉). 

Focus on the positive. Eliminate the negative. And have grace for yourself as you work through this process because it’s not always easy.  

Focus on the journey. 

A road in between green fields with a purple-orange sunset in the distance.

The journey is what it’s all about. Let’s not forget that! Overcome perfectionism by not obsessing over the destination, because that’s a surefire way to miss the joys of your successes along the way. 

Celebrate your wins, big and small. Give yourself props for how hard you’re working NOW. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you. And most importantly, don’t let life become a blur because you are too wrapped up in where you’re going (and trying to be perfect along the way). 

Overcome perfectionism and thrive! 

If you feel like you’ve been “stuck,” it might be time to evaluate why you’re not taking action. As you’ve probably heard before by many different authors and speakers, it’s all about “progress over perfection.” Now the test is really believing that this statement is true! 

Remember, no one expects you to be perfect. Take that burden off yourself and watch your life and business blossom as a result! 

Dealing with perfectionism can certainly take a toll on your mental health. Check out our blog post on “Five Easy Ways to Care of Your Mental Health” for some ideas on how to take care of yourself. 

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