If you live your life by perfectionism, you probably have an overwhelming fear of making a mistake. And if you do make a mistake, maybe you:
- let that be an excuse to make a lot more mistakes (well, you didn’t do it perfectly so the heck with this) and/or
- give yourself permission to abandon yourself and quit.
Do yourself a kindness and let go of perfectionism because:
1. You’re not going to do your life perfectly.
Here’s the thing: You’re going to make mistakes no matter what you do.
You’re going to screw things up. You’re going to forget stuff. You’re going to do things you know you shouldn’t. You might going running back to ways of doing things that didn’t work for you in the past but they feel familiar and so safer than blazing your own path.
There’s just no perfection to be had. You couldn’t be perfect even if you tried really hard because of the simple fact that you’re human. It’s okay if you make mistakes. You’re not alone. Instead, you’re in excellent company with the rest of us.
2. Perfectionism is about fear.
It’s been my experience that the need to be perfect or appear perfect has something to do with fear. So that’s the question you need to be asking: What am I afraid is going to happen if I screw this up?
- Are you afraid of how others will perceive you?
- Or what you believe mistakes/failures say about you as a person?
- Or maybe your self-worth is tied up in the illusion of being perfect (so if you make a mistake, you believe you lose value as a person)?
- Or [insert your own question about your fear here].
Once you figure out what that fear is, you’ll have a much easier time letting yourself make mistakes.
3. Perfectionism means you let mistakes derail you.
When you let your mistakes derail you, you come to a stop. You get afraid to take any action at all, for fear of making more mistakes, and that’s how you end up feeling stuck and not moving forward in your life. The longer you stay going around in circles with fear (where fear keeps you from taking action), the harder it gets for you to break the cycle, especially if you’re constantly replaying your mistakes in your head.
Know this: the ONLY difference between people who succeed and people who fail is that the ones who succeed don’t let their mistakes derail them.
4. Perfectionism doesn’t let you grow.
You can’t grow if you won’t let yourself screw up because you grow when you make mistakes then learn from them. Whenever you make a mistake, even if it’s one that’s embarrassing or devastating or makes you want to cry, just remember this: you simply got a lesson in what didn’t work.
The only things you have to do are these:
- Take a deep breath in through your nose then let it out slowly through your mouth.
- Find the lesson in whatever it was that didn’t work.
- Come back at it again from a wiser perspective.
How To Overcome Perfectionism:
1. Remember: Only one thing matters when you make a mistake.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been knocked back down in the dirt. It really doesn’t. The only thing that matters is that you get back up again.
So do this:
- pick yourself back up
- dust yourself off
- don’t give up on yourself
- learn what you can
- and try again.
And you give yourself permission to do that right away. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t stew in what you did wrong. Just forgive yourself and tell yourself that you’ll do better next time because you will.
2. Know this: Success is on the other side of failure.
What you want most for your life really is within your grasp. So don’t you give up on yourself and quit.
All of us make mistakes. All of us fail at some point. Remember, you really are in excellent company.
The only way you’re ever going to get to where you want to be is if you keep going. Remember this too: it doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.
Are you willing to let go of perfectionism so you can thrive?