How to Overcome Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a major obstacle to productivity and happiness.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

You can learn to let go of your perfectionist tendencies and lead a more balanced, satisfying life with some effort.

Below are some of the effective ways to overcome perfectionism:

Become More Aware of Your Tendencies

One way to overcome perfectionism is by becoming more aware of your tendencies. 

For example, do you ruminate over mistakes? 

Do you have trouble completing tasks? 

Do you procrastinate?

Become more aware of your thought patterns. 

Do you tend to have all-or-nothing thinking? 

Black-and-white thinking? 

Catastrophizing thoughts? 

Challenge your thoughts when you notice them. 

For instance, if you are ruminating over a mistake, try to let it go and focus on the present. 

If you have a black-and-white thought, remember that there is always a gray area.

Another way to work on perfectionism is by implementing self-compassion into your life. 

Extend compassion to yourself when you make mistakes or feel like you’re not good enough. 

Remember that everyone makes mistakes and everyone has flaws. 

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. 

Would you be as hard on a friend as you are on yourself?

And finally, practice mindful living. 

Pay attention to the present moment and accept things without judging them. 

This can be difficult, but it’s an important skill to develop if you want to overcome perfectionism.

Focus on the Positives

It’s important to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative. 

Be positive in your thinking and try to find the good in every situation. 

You can overcome perfectionism by accepting that you’re not perfect and there is no such thing as perfection.

Try to learn from your mistakes and move on.

Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes

No one is perfect. 

Everyone makes mistakes. 

It’s part of being human. 

However, how they deal with their mistakes separates successful people from unsuccessful ones. 

Successful people learn from their mistakes and move on. 

They don’t dwell on the negatives. 

Instead, they focus on the lessons they learned and how to apply them in the future.

Here are some tips on how you can allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them:

  • Acknowledge that you are not perfect and that you will make mistakes.
  • Remember that everyone makes mistakes and that no one is exempt from making them.
  • When you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it or beat yourself up. Instead, focus on the lesson you learned and how you can apply it in the future.
  • If you make a mistake, apologize and move on. Don’t dwell on the past or let it define you.
  • Choose to focus on the positive aspects of your life and remember that your mistakes do not define your worth.

Set More Reasonable Goals

Another way to overcome perfectionism is to set more reasonable goals

This means taking the time to identify what you want to achieve and then breaking it down into small goals that are realistic and achievable.

Start by brainstorming a list of things you want to accomplish in the next week, month, or year. 

Then, look at each goal and ask yourself if it is something you can reasonably achieve. 

If it is not, break it down into smaller goals that are more achievable.

Once you have a list of realistic goals, start working on them one at a time. 

Don’t try to do everything at once – just take it one step at a time. 

As you accomplish each goal, you will start to feel better about yourself and your ability to achieve things, which will help you overcome your perfectionism.

Learn How to Receive Criticism

One way to overcome perfectionism is to learn how to accept criticism

This means being open to hearing what others say about your work, even if it is negative. 

Of course, it can be difficult to receive criticism, but it is important to remember that constructive criticism can help improve your work.

When you are critiqued, try to listen without getting defensive. 

It can be helpful to ask questions about the specific points raised. 

Once you have received the feedback, take some time to think about it before you respond. 

You may want to consider whether the criticism is valid and how you can use it to improve your work.

It is also important to remember that not all criticism is equal. 

If you receive praise and constructive criticism, then you know that the feedback comes from a place of genuine care and concern. 

However, if you only receive negative feedback, you may want to question the motives of the person critiquing you. 

In either case, try not to take the feedback personally and focus on using it to help you improve your work.

Lower the Pressure You Put on Yourself

When you’re a perfectionist, it can feel like you’re never good enough. 

You might worry that if you don’t do things perfectly, you’ll be perceived as a failure. 

But, on the other hand, you might have high standards for yourself and others.

While it’s great to have high standards, perfectionism can be damaging. 

It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even self-harm. 

If you’re a perfectionist, you might need to lower the pressure you put on yourself.

Here are some tips:

  • Understand that nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Accepting this will help you be more forgiving of yourself when you make mistakes.
  • Make a realistic plan. Setting goals that are too high can be discouraging when you don’t reach them. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable.
  • Be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes instead of being critical.
  • Take your time. Rushing through tasks can increase your chances of making mistakes. If you can, take your time and double-check your work before calling it finished.
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome. It’s important to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Don’t get too focused on the end result or what other people will think of your work—focus on enjoying the process of creating something new.

Focus on Meaning Over Perfection

Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by a need for perfection and preoccupation with details. 

People who are perfectionists tend to have high standards for themselves and others, and they often become bogged down in the details of their work. 

There is no perfect way to do anything, and striving for perfectionism can lead to subpar results. 

The key is to focus on finding meaning in your work rather than trying to do everything perfectly. 

This means setting realistic goals and letting go of the need for control. 

It also means accepting that mistakes are part of the learning process.

If you’re a perfectionist, know that you’re not alone. 

Perfectionism is quite common, and it’s something that you can overcome with the right mindset. 

Remember that mistakes are part of life and that striving for excellence is more important than striving for perfection.

Try Not to Procrastinate

One way to overcome perfectionism is to try not to procrastinate. 

It can be helpful to set a deadline for yourself, even if it’s just a self-imposed one. 

Once you have a deadline, try to stick to it as best you can. 

Of course, there will be times when you can’t meet your deadline, and that’s okay. 

Just try not to let it get in the way of your progress.

Another way to overcome perfectionism is to accept that mistakes happen. 

No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. 

It’s important to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on them. 

Instead of beating yourself up over a mistake, try to look at it as a learning opportunity.

Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. 

Everyone is on their own journey and comparing yourself to others will only hold you back. 

Instead, accept yourself for who you are and focus on your own progress.

Cut Out Negative Influences

One of the best ways to avoid perfectionism is to eliminate negative influences in your life. 

This might mean distancing yourself from friends or family members who are always critical or avoiding environments that make you feel like you have to be perfect.

It can also be helpful to avoid people who thrive on drama and conflict. 

These people often create stressful situations, which can trigger perfectionistic tendencies. 

Instead, surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people will help you feel more confident and less likely to strive for perfection.


The goal is not to be perfect but to be happy.

Many think that to be happy, we have to be perfect. 

We think that we have to have the perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect partner, and the perfect life. 

But the truth is, perfectionism is just a recipe for unhappiness. 

If we strive for perfection, we will always fall short and feel like failures.

The key to happiness is learning to accept ourselves just as we are. 

It’s about recognizing that we are all imperfect creatures, and we are all beautiful and unique

It’s about learning to love ourselves – faults and all.

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