Perfectionism—the tendency to demand flawlessness from yourself or others—can often be a positive quality. Perfectionists tend to be highly motivated and ambitious, and thanks to their close attention to detail and their willingness to work long hours, they often excel at school and in the workplace.
However, perfectionism also has a downside. In some cases, perfectionists can be overly critical, taking an all-or-nothing mindset and failing to accept anything that doesn’t meet their (sometimes unattainable) standards, no matter how much time and effort went into the work. Perfectionists also tend to base their own self-worth on their performance abilities, which can be damaging if they don’t deliver perfect results. In fact, studies have shown that perfectionists often experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, and are more likely to become burned out.
Tips for Embracing Imperfection
Perfectionism can be difficult to overcome, but it’s possible to do so. Here are some tips for how to manage perfectionist tendencies:
- Set more realistic goals.
- Reduce how much effort you’re putting into tasks and pay attention to whether anyone notices any difference in the results.
- Try to think of mistakes as learning opportunities.
- Recognize when you begin to think like a perfectionist, and then challenge those thoughts.
- If seeing pictures and videos of people leading seemingly perfect lives triggers you, remind yourself that their posts are likely curated (and if that still doesn’t work, try taking a break from social media altogether).
For More Information
Do you suspect that you might be a perfectionist? If so, we invite you to schedule an appointment with one of the knowledgeable therapists at our practice. We’re highly experienced in treating patients who struggle with perfectionism, and we can supply you with personalized advice that will help you embrace imperfection and improve your quality of life. Contact us today to get started.