5 Ways To Shed Your Need For Perfectionism 


Perfectionism gets the best of us. They say perfect is the enemy of done, but for many of us, it’s hard to let go of our perfectionist nature. If you’re like me, you worry about not being good enough or doing something well enough if you let go of your perfectionist nature. You also hold yourself to higher standards than most people. And while you know this leads to disappointment in the long run, you feel like not having these standards hinders your progress and makes you settle for less. 

So what do we do? 

Perfectionism often hurts us, but it’s a habit many of us find hard to break. Luckily, a little practice in shedding perfectionist ways goes a long way to help! Here are some things you can do to lessen perfectionism’s hold on you.

1. Focus on doing your best. 

We can’t do any more than our best, which is what’s within our current skill set and capabilities. But that doesn’t stop us perfectionists from trying. Holding yourself to impossible standards only sets you up for failure, disappointment, and stress. For example, if you know you need at least a week to turn in a freelance writing project, don’t tell yourself or your client that you can finish it by tomorrow. Be realistic and hold yourself to the standards you know you can meet. That way, you’ll end up with a stellar finished project.

2. Zone in on the project itself. 

Perfectionism tends to go hand in hand with procrastination. After all, it’s easy to keep pushing off turning something in if you’re convinced it’s not good enough and needs just a little more work. But procrastination has its own set of issues, one of the most glaring ones being it adds additional pressure as your deadline looms. Instead, focus on working on the project itself. Have your plan in place but make sure you take it into action and avoid the temptation to fix your outline. At some point, you just have to do it. 

3. Ask someone to review your work.

If you’re worried your work isn’t good enough after the third or fourth draft (we’ve all been there), consider asking a friend or colleague to look over your project. There’s only so much fixing you can do on your own project; it’s hard to be objective on something you’ve been working on for a while. So get another pair of eyes if you can so they can give you feedback on any changes needed. This way, you’ll not only have an additional person sign off on your project, but you’ll also be more secure since someone else has given their perspective and thoughts on your work. 

4. Challenge the idea that you have to be “perfect.” 

Chances are low that your work, school, or even a passion project is a matter of life and death. And even then, it’s hard to foresee that in many cases. Ask yourself why your homework assignment or work project needs to be perfect. What are the consequences for reaching less than perfection and instead doing the best you can? What will suffer as a result? Chances are you will lose little, if anything, for not achieving perfectionism.

5. Strive for done, not perfect.

As I mentioned earlier, perfect is the enemy of done. Of course, you’ll want to do your best and make sure you polish your project. But at some point, you have to stop refining and just turn in the project or mark it as done. Getting something done and out of the way does wonders for your peace of mind, allowing you to see a project from start to finish. Knowing that you did a good job on something by seeing the end project is one of the best ways to shut up the perfectionist voice in your head. 

Perfectionism is a myth. As we grow and learn, we gain new insights into improving, which means our view of perfect is ever-changing and unsustainable. While you may still struggle with perfectionism sometimes, these tips can help you break out of the habit one day at a time. Even better, you’ll learn to loosen the pressure you put on yourself, boosting your self-esteem and belief in yourself. You’ve got this!

Photo by Kristina V on Unsplash



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