Perfectionism can keep us from achieving our goals. It can lead to procrastination and a general feeling of dissatisfaction with ourselves. I believe that in midlife it is especially important to embrace the concept of ‘good enough’. This includes accepting that we are good enough just as we are. When we start to believe in ourselves, it becomes easier to take action and find fulfilment in our lives. Are you ready to let go of perfectionism and embrace your new ‘good enough’?
This article has been prompted as perfectionism has featured regularly recently in people I have been working with. It is cropping up regularly causing procrastination instead of taking action until things are perfect, and also some being less than kind to themselves. Is there such a thing as perfect? Who defines perfect? A perfectionist may feel negative towards themselves and their efforts, feeling like they fail at many tasks, causing low feelings of self-worth.
Tell tale signs of perfectionism might include some of the following:
- Never being happy with what you have done, no matter how good it is.
- Spending much longer on tasks than what should be sufficient
- Poor productivity.
- Many ideas and projects that don’t get finished.
- Focussing on mistakes.
- Having very high standards for yourself and maybe others.
- Being afraid to try new things for fear of failure.
- Procrastinating until everything is ‘just right’ before starting.
- Being very hard on yourself.
Your perfectionism may surface in the things you do, but also when you avoid tasks as a result of your perfectionism. You may never start a task/goal as everything is not ‘perfect’.
As soon as I started to write this blog I felt my own perfectionist tendencies kick in! They have diluted nicely over the years, thankfully. Aiming for progress and fulfilment over perfectionism is a nice way to go.
How to let go of perfectionism and embrace a new ‘good enough’:
- Change your focus from needing to be perfect to looking for a sense of fulfilment.
- Enjoy the process or journey rather than focusing only on the result.
- Begin to challenge your perfectionist beliefs – What are they saying to you? Is it true?
- Consider progress over perfection.
- Practice being kinder to yourself, accepting that you are good enough as you are.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Focus on the things you can control rather than the things you can’t.
- Consider small (even tiny) goals/tasks, or a bigger goal/task broken into small (or tiny), steps. Ensure all goals are realistic.
- Celebrate your successes, however small they may be.
- Lower the pressure you put on yourself.
- Stay away from social media as much as possible!
Let go of perfectionism and embrace a new ‘good enough’. Remember that it is okay to be imperfect! Embrace the journey, take things one step at a time and have patience with yourself.
Before you go – here is a question for you – What one thing you can leave imperfect or unfinished?
I hope you found some parts of this imperfect article useful!
All views in this blog are the author’s own personal views who is a life coach, not a mental health counsellor or professional. No part of this article should be considered as professional mental health or medical advice.