8 tips towards overcoming perfectionism.
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1. Be aware of your motivations for perfection
To start overcoming perfectionism, you need to first understand why you are a perfectionist. What is the underlying motivation? Look back in your life and try to identify incidents which contributed to shaping your perfectionist mentality. Is it because of others’ expectations of you? Is it because people underestimated your abilities and you feel you need to prove yourself? Is it because you attach your sense of self worth to the results of your actions? Whatever the reasons are, become aware of them, recognize them and understand that these do not dictate who you are.
2. Recognize that ideals are directions, not absolutes
Continue to hold your ideals and set BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) because these serve as growth-levers and motivation sources. The goals are not the problems – it’s the attachment towards the goals which you need to work on. Accept your goals as directions to work towards and not absolutes which you need to achieve. Commit yourself to the pursuits but do not attach yourself to them. It does not matter if you do not reach the ideals because the ideals are visions to reach; they are not who you are or who you should be.
3. Respect and love yourself
Are you beating yourself over something that could have been better? Let go of all these negative thoughts in your mind. You did what you could within that particular context. Recognize you are an individual with your own rights and integrity versus subjecting yourself to all the self-abuse and self-depreciation. Treat yourself with the respect you -deserve.
4. Focus on the big picture
Overcoming perfectionism requires you to start seeing the forest for the trees. Use prioritization techniques such as Time Management Matrix (Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) to aid you in identifying tasks which you should do and tasks which you should abandon altogether. For the tasks which you need to be involved in, use the 80-20 principle to help you gauge when to stop. Whenever a particular task is taking too much of your time, it is good to ask yourself ‘Does this matter in the bigger scheme of things?’. If it doesn’t, chuck it.
5. Focus on what can be done
Forget about mistakes that were made in the past which you cannot do anything about. Learn from them and move on; obsessing over them does not change anything at all. Realize that the time you spend thinking about your mistakes actually takes you away from time which you can have spent on more productive things instead! Stop worrying about things that are not within your locus of control, such as the future or perceptions by others. Plan for contingencies but beyond that, do not waste your time harping over it.
6. Delegate and let go
Have faith in other people’s abilities and delegate tasks to them. If they do not seem to be doing a particular task right, teach and help them instead of taking over entirely. Teach a man how to fish so there is more fish for everyone, rather than doing all the fishing yourself and limiting the total output.
7. Enjoy the entire process
The process is the longest part of achievement – enjoy it! Find ways to lighten it up – learn to laugh at yourself, take things positively, rest/eat/sleep/play when it is time to, take part in enriching recreational activities, do not de-prioritize your social gatherings or time off from work.
8. Celebrate the victories and progress made
Give yourself a pat in the back for everything that you do, regardless of the outcome. Reward yourself or other people if a good job is done. Give credit where credit is due. Wholeheartedly celebrate your victories when they come along – you have rightfully earned them!
Source: The Personal Excellence Blog. Thank you.
Dawn Pugh MBACP – NCSAG
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