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Good Enough: How Perfectionism Is Holding You Back

Michelangelo perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Do you need everything you do to be flawless? Do you expect others to have the same attention to detail as you? If so, you may be suffering from perfectionism, and holding yourself back from achieving what you want.

Perfectionism lowers your mood

How do you react when a friend doesn’t turn up for your party? Do you get upset if you slightly over-cook your pasta? Do you beat yourself up when you only get 90% on your test instead of 100%? Perfectionists can let little things like this have a profound effect on their mood.

Michelangelo was a renowned perfectionist when it came to his work, and produced some of the most magnificent works of art in history. But by all accounts, he was pretty miserable. His constant search for perfect representations of the human form took over his life, to the detriment of his happiness.

Perfectionism leads to frustration

Studies have shown that pathological perfectionists are more prone to stress-related illnesses than others. Because true perfection is a very rare thing, perfectionists can get frustrated, and end up never being satisfied with anything.

If you’re never satisfied, you end up doing one of two things: not even starting on a task or project, or spending so much time on it that other important aspects of your life suffer as a result.

Are you letting your fear of imperfection stop you from getting what you want? Don’t think “If I can’t do this perfectly, I’m not going to start”, but rather “I’m going to do the best I can, and it’s going to be great”. Life coaching can help you to shift your thinking into more constructive language that will get you moving forward.

Know your priorities

Are you spending too much time and energy on one thing to make sure it will be perfect, to the detriment of your other priorities? Learn to change your mindset so that you accept and even expect things not to go perfectly. This is not an excuse to be lazy or not try your best, but it will help you to not get so upset when things go wrong.

Life isn’t meant to be perfect. Your best-laid plans will be disrupted, you will encounter obstacles along the way, and things will come out of the blue when you least expect them. The trick is to accept it, find ways to deal with it, and get back on track.

Take imperfect action

If you want to achieve something of significance, the most important thing is not that it should be perfect, but that you should take action towards achieving it. Having the intention to reach a goal, and striving for excellence over perfection is the key to a satisfying outcome.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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