Hell of a perfectionist. 8 ways to stop doing everything perfectly

Some people view the pursuit of excellence as a positive thing. But many also know that the desire to achieve an ideal result in everything can significantly complicate a person’s life. Therefore, they are trying to figure out for themselves how to get rid of perfectionism. As a result, you will become a more effective employee, complete more tasks, and get rid of the feelings of poor performance.

Psychology distinguishes two types of perfectionism. The first one is positive. When it doesn't affect your mood and you feel great when you achieve results. And don't get upset when you don't do it. But if you are one of the few who tries to do everything perfectly, and is very worried if something doesn’t work out for him. Then you may have signs of neurotic or maladaptive perfectionism. This often leads to a bad mood, negatively affects your self-esteem, and is bad for your performance.

Causes of perfectionism

The mechanism of its occurrence is explained by Brené Brown (a well-known researcher in the field of sociology): “Perfectionism is not the same as the desire to become better. It has nothing to do with healthy growth and self-development. Perfectionism is a destructive belief system that promotes one central idea: if I act and look perfect and live a perfect life, I can avoid or minimize the pain that comes with shame, guilt, and judgment.”

Perfectionism is directly related to the need to receive approval from others. The most common example of the circumstances of its appearance is childhood, in which acceptance and encouragement from parents is obtained only after demonstrating the results they need in cleaning, academic performance and any other matters. As a result of this, an internal delusion is brought up that a person is identical to achievements. It seems to have no value in itself. When understanding the question of how to get rid of perfectionism and the feelings of guilt associated with it, it is important to analyze what really stands behind it.

Perfectionist Problems

Perfectionists achieve great success, but they are accompanied by problems in their personal lives and in relationships with colleagues. This trait affects the emotional state and changes the personality.

The problems of a perfectionist are:

Inability to dwell on the result obtained. Even if a given goal is achieved, a perfectionist finds mistakes. This process continues indefinitely if it is not stopped. Lack of joy from achieving a goal. This personality trait does not allow you to be completely satisfied with your activities. Focusing on failures. Perfectionism does not allow you to see the good in yourself; it only generates criticism. Negative attitude towards others. A perfectionist thinks that he is not interesting to others, or considers others unworthy of his attention. Inability to cope with sudden situations. Such people are accustomed to living by the rules, and if the situation requires deviating from them, they panic. The appearance of feelings of anxiety and depression, the occurrence of somatic disorders in the form of insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, decreased immunity, the appearance of neurotic disorders.

Up to a certain stage, perfectionism does not harm, but helps a person achieve his cherished goal, the respect of others and forces him to move forward. But if he began to go beyond the bounds of reason, then this condition must be fought.

How to determine the presence of perfectionism?

Experts emphasize that this feeling differs from a healthy desire to improve oneself because it is focused not on one’s own well-being, but on caring about the opinions of others.

Perfectionist positionThe position of an ordinary person
His actions are associated with concern about the impression he will make on others.He is guided by personal interests to an adequate extent, asking the following questions:
Questions that often concern a perfectionist: • Did I do better than N? • How can we further improve what has been done to produce a greater effect? • What details are important to double-check to ensure everything looks perfect? • How will this help me become a better person? • How do the efforts made and the benefits received compare? • How to deal with a case using less time and energy?
A person tries to overly control the process and is fixated on calculating all sorts of event scenarios. In situations where something does not go according to plan, it is difficult for him to adapt. A person is able to react calmly and flexibly to any unforeseen circumstances. He tries to take into account important points, but is not concerned about going over them in detail in his imagination.

Track “getting stuck on little things”

The main danger for a perfectionist is his tendency to get hung up on little things. That is, having focused on some unimportant detail, he begins to uncontrollably spend working time on it, forgetting about everything in the world.

Let's say a certain perfectionist blogger writes a new article. And then an amazing idea comes into his head: shouldn’t he insert a photo of a girl with an umbrella into this text?

He goes to photo stocks and looks through hundreds of photos. But alas: he doesn’t come across the right girls with the right umbrellas and the right facial expression. After stopping all websites, he tries to make a collage himself in Photoshop. And again a failure: his collage looks too clumsy and artisanal.

Three hours later, he sighs and inserts the first photograph he comes across into the article. Naturally, he will not return the time spent searching for the “girl of his dreams.”

How to learn to notice and stop such behavior in time? This can be done in several ways:

Method 1. Mini-plans. At the beginning of each hour, write down the tasks you want to accomplish that hour. At the end of the hour, summarize what you managed to do and what you didn’t. This technique significantly increases awareness while working and prevents you from getting hung up on details.

Method 2. “Beacons”. Place a visible object near your work area to remind you to move forward. You can use anything as a “beacon”: a sticker with an inscription, a poster, a postcard, a figurine, or even a soft toy. The main thing is that you place this item specifically as a reminder.

Having stumbled upon your “lighthouse”, you will be able to “wake up from being stuck” in time.

Method 3. External signal. As such, you can use a timer bell, a pop-up window or a reminder in the organizer. The same thing: this method helps to come to your senses and stop unwanted behavior.

The external signal should be repeated after a period of time that suits you: 15 minutes, half an hour or an hour. If you use the Pomodoro technique, then you don’t need to configure anything special: you already have the necessary signal.

What to do if you find yourself stuck, but don’t know how to break it? In this case, try answering three questions:

  • Is this really necessary to do?
  • Is there a different way to do this?
  • Is it possible to make this easier?

Many “very important details” turn out to be not so important after inspection.

What threat does perfectionism pose?

It leads a person to a constant state of defeat. Slowly displacing the experience of joyful moments, a feeling of prosperity and happiness from life. Instead, they experience constant anxiety, fatigue, low self-esteem and depression.

Under his influence, life turns into a race for ideals. Over time, those around them begin to suffer from this. Wanting to achieve perfection and being completely in the grip of obsessions, a person can make excessive demands on himself and others. This behavior causes constant stress and spoils relationships with the environment.

Set deadlines

Set a deadline for completing a task or its individual stages. For example:

Deadlines are a natural limiter to perfectionism. It’s as if a countdown timer is turned on in our heads, constantly reminding us that we need to move on, that there is no time to polish the details and chase the ideal.

Having set a deadline, try to complete the bulk of the work at the very beginning, and correct minor defects and any improvements closer to the end. This approach will increase the likelihood that you will have a completed result by the target date.

A variation of this technique is the regular schedule. It forces us to quickly move from one thing to another, leaving no time to dig into the details.

Fighting perfectionism: practical advice

How to get rid of perfectionism in cleaning? How to overcome it when performing management tasks? It doesn’t matter in what area it prevents you from living calmly and enjoying intermediate results. The sequence of fighting him is as follows:

  1. Acknowledge the problem and accept it.
  2. Dispassionately describe the consequences of perfectionism in your life. Make a list of specific problems. For example, often due to the tendency to bring even minor nuances to an ideal state, a person loses the sense of time and cannot adequately distribute it. Also honestly write down the unpleasant feelings that you have already experienced due to perfectionism (fear of trying yourself in a new sport, anxiety about the opinions of others about changing your image, etc.). Keep these notes always at hand so that during a new wave of an irresistible desire for perfection, you can cool your ardor in time.
  3. Learn tips that will help you regain emotional balance and change your habitual behavior pattern.

Let's look at 11 effective ways to get rid of perfectionism. Be patient and use them gradually, without trying to achieve big changes all at once. Otherwise, implementing these recommendations will become another trap of excessive striving for perfection and may aggravate the situation.

Accept the fact that the world is changing

Trying to always do everything perfectly the first time, perfectionists tend to get caught up in over-controlling the details of the future. They spend a lot of resources on scrolling through different options for the development of events, exhausting themselves needlessly. Admit to yourself that much in this world does not depend on you. The weather can turn bad, and your business partner can react completely unexpectedly. Realize that internal resources are better spent on developing the ability to accept any scenario.

Dialogue with the inner critic

If the first way is more aimed at behavior - external manifestations of perfectionism, then the second way of working with perfectionism is from the inside.

Here, as I already said, you have to establish a relationship with a character called the Inner Critic. It sits in the head of any perfectionist and, as a rule, controls his life.

Once upon a time, this Critic appeared to protect you. For example, your mother scolded you for bad grades, and you were so hurt and lonely at these moments, then the Critic decided to do everything to protect you from your mother’s scolding. He started scolding you in advance - even before your mother saw the mark.

How to negotiate with a Critic and make friends? I offer my clients to conduct a real dialogue - they speak on behalf of the Critic, and I ask questions on their behalf. You can write down this dialogue on paper yourself. Prepare in advance the questions you want to ask the Critic. For example:

  • How do you like living with me?
  • What do you get pleasure from?
  • why are you torturing me?
  • Can I do something for you so that you don't torment me anymore?

This is a rough list - it will be different for each person. Then you become your Inner Critic and answer these questions honestly. To complete the transformation, you can wear a hat or robe - or take a teacher's pointer

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends: