As a recovering perfectionist, trust me, one of the things that I know is that perfectionist tendencies don’t die easily. As a leader I have definitely had my share of unnecessary delays, refusing to delegate to others because I wanted it done “right,” and missing opportunities because of fear of not being good enough or able enough. Are you a person who always or at least 99% of the time have to get things right? Do you work longer hours and put in more energy than necessary to make sure things are done in a way that proves to others that you really aren’t a slacker?

Here are some quick tips on recovering from perfectionism:

1. Accept yourself and remember that you are accepted and acceptable whether you get it right or make a mess of things. See yourself as good enough, worthy enough.

2. Set Expectations, but not unrealistically high (can’t believe I just typed those words – told you, I’m still in “recovery”). Aim to do your very best and rest in the reality that you have done so. Refuse to be dominated by unrealistic expectations.

3. Keep in mind that failing doesn’t make you a failure. Failing can actually be used to launch you forward. Perfect is not possible and it’s ok.

4. Celebrate every accomplishment – both small and great

5. Give yourself a break and be as kind to you as you are to others (sometimes we perfectionists are hard on ourselves and show exceptional grace to others, not realizing that we deserve grace too).

6. Refuse to succumb to the pressure and unrealistic expectations that others place on you.

7. Remember that you are neither always right or always wrong and it’s ok.

These are a few suggestions, did I miss any? What one thing from the list above can you do to continue on the journey of recovering from perfectionism?


Posted on 2011/01, in Self Care/Health and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I am going to start putting #4 into practice more often! I, too, am a recovering perfectionist…(I feel like we should be sitting in a semi-circle while we do this….maybe having Oreos & hot chocolate, lol!) This is a great reminder, thanks for sharing!

    • thejourneydeeper

      Thanks for your comment Nilwona. Recovering is definitely possible and a process. Having small celebrations along the way tends to take the edge off of leaning towards agonizing over blunders/things we do imperfectly.

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