“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
I recently realized I was a perfectionist, or a recovering one.
This topic came up in conversation recently when a friend was agonizing over the content of her first published book. The memories of my designing days in the garment industry flashed back into my mind. How I was designing my line up until the last possibly minute until FedEx arrived and I had to stop. I had to hit the deadline for my Wal-Mart appointment.
What went on internally was the dreaded feeling that I missed something. It wasn’t ready yet! It wasn’t perfect yet! I needed to cover all the bases and then some. But for a perfectionist, are we ever ready or done?
There’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence but sometimes the need for being perfect can cripple creativity or stop you from achieving your dreams.
How to Recognize Perfectionism?
- Do you have trouble meeting your own standards?
- Do you get frustrated, anxious, or depressed trying to meet your standards?
- Have you been told my standards are too high?
- Do your standards get in the way of meeting deadlines or tasks?
- Do you criticize yourself for not doing a good enough job after spending a lot of time?
Do you worry about?
- Anything less than perfect makes you a failure
- Can’t handle others seeing you less than perfect
- You “should” have anticipated problems and beat yourself up
- Spending too much time laboring over simple tasks
- Constantly improving or re-doing
- Agonizing over small details
- Avoiding trying new things due to making mistakes
By using perspective in the big picture, compromising, overcoming procrastination, and cutting down the “To Do” list perfectionism can be overcome.
Awareness of these behaviors can help you identify perfectionism in your life and recognizing how it can be hampering success.
When I began to let go of being “perfect” the world opened up. I wasn’t afraid of judgement or making mistakes. I let go and did my best, and now I don’t sweat the small stuff.
Life is too short to spend trying to be perfect. There is no time more perfect than the now.