Even if you consider yourself a perfectionist, you might not be able to achieve your goals or feel satisfied with stellar results. You might think your perfectionism is the key to being successful, but in reality, it’s holding you back. 

The biggest difference between a high achiever and a perfectionist is their motivators. High-achievers are fueled by doing their best and believing in themselves. Perfectionists are fueled by the fear of failure and tend to beat themselves up for their shortcomings or setbacks.

It’s much more difficult to accomplish your goals when you don’t give yourself the room to make mistakes and be imperfect. You might think that having a perfectionist’s attitude will get you far, but in reality, it can cause you to adopt self-defeating behaviors like procrastination. It can also lower your self-esteem and harm your mental health in the form of anxiety and depression.

If you want to overcome your perfectionism, here are 3 ways to help you get started.

Set Reasonable Goals

As a perfectionist, you might find yourself concentrating on the bigger picture you want to achieve instead of focusing on the steps it takes to get there. While it’s good to know what you want, it hurts your motivation to avoid the process and can easily overwhelm you.

Perfectionists have a habit of setting unrealistic goals in a short period of time and beating themselves up when they don’t succeed. In reality, they’re setting themselves up for failure by creating unrealistic expectations. 

Set attainable goals by splitting your big goal into smaller ones that you can achieve. Turning it into a step-by-step process allows you to work on it little by little until you start to see results. Doing so will curb your perfectionist tendencies and you can better appreciate the hard work and effort you’re putting in.

Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

It’s easy to dwell on negative thoughts and tell yourself you can’t accomplish your goals. It’s also easy to tear yourself down instead of lifting yourself up and concentrating on your strengths and skills.

When negative thoughts occur, try to challenge them. For example, you might tell yourself that your work ethic or strategy isn’t good enough and always fails to bring you success. But you don’t always fail, and even if your strategy isn’t the best, there are always ways to improve it.

Refrain from using absolute language like “always” and “never” as these statements are rarely true. It takes effort to reframe your mindset and choose to see things more positively, but it’s necessary if you’re going to overcome your perfectionism. 

Practice Self Care

Being hard on yourself can tear down your confidence and self-esteem. It also causes you to further doubt yourself and believe that you don’t deserve the things you want. It’s a vicious cycle that gets you nowhere and leaves you feeling stuck.

While working to overcome your perfectionist habits, it’s crucial to practice self-care regularly. Taking care of yourself will come in handy during the times when you don’t feel good enough and would rather criticize yourself instead of showing compassion.

Speaking to yourself with kindness, eating healthier foods, moving your body regularly, listening to your favorite podcasts, and reaching out to loved ones are just a few ways you can take better care of yourself and put yourself first. Doing so will allow you to have a healthier mindset that makes room for mistakes and doesn’t let you beat yourself up.

Over to You

If you struggle with perfectionism, these tips are sure to help you overcome those tendencies so you can achieve your goals. It might be difficult at first, but with consistent effort, anyone can learn to let go of their mistakes and accept their shortcomings. This leads to more success and a fulfilling life. How will you overcome perfectionism?