Perfectionism can be a challenging habit to break, but learning to release some of that control can lead to a more fulfilling and balanced life. At Integrated Counseling and Wellness, we work with many clients to help them overcome perfectionism and find greater peace and self-acceptance. Here are seven tips that we often share with clients who are struggling with perfectionism:
Perfectionism often involves a lot of negative self-talk, such as "I'm not good enough" or "I'll never get it right." These thoughts can hurt your self-esteem and your relationship with yourself. Instead, try challenging these thoughts by asking yourself if they're really true, or if there's a more balanced and realistic way of looking at the situation.
Be kind to yourself. Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes or perceived shortcomings, practice giving yourself grace. This means treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend. Maybe you start with a simple affirmation, or you simply acknowledge your thoughts and choose to respect yourself instead of letting your thoughts take over.
Perfectionism often involves setting impossibly high standards for yourself. Instead, set goals that are challenging but achievable. Celebrate your progress along the way, even if you don't reach every goal. The idea of progress over perfection is a great outlook to work on cultivating in order to honor yourself and your goals.
Accept that no one is perfect, and that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the learning process. Embrace imperfection as an opportunity for growth and learning. While this is easier said than done, just like everything, it takes time and practice. The more you treat yourself with love and grace, the more able you are to laugh at or embrace imperfection.
Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can help you feel more resilient and better equipped to handle stress. This allows you to forge a better relationship with yourself, and makes room for a little bit of imperfection in your life.
Focusing on the positives in your life can help you shift your mindset away from perfectionism. Take time each day to reflect on what you're grateful for, no matter how small. This may look like writing a few things down in a journal, saying them in the mirror, or just listing what you are grateful for in your head. Doing this before bed or when you wake up can help set a positive tone for the day.
Don't be afraid to reach out for help. A counselor can offer you the guidance, support, and tools you need to let go of perfectionism and cultivate greater self-acceptance.
Letting go of perfectionism is not easy, but it is possible. You can learn to let go of perfectionism and find greater peace and fulfillment in your life with the help of these tips and an Integrated Counseling and Wellness counselor. If you're struggling with perfectionism, don't hesitate to reach out for support and guidance on your healing journey.