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Among high-achieving women, it’s no secret that perfectionism is an epidemic.

While it’s not a bad thing to be ambitious, set big goals, and have high standards, perfectionism can often morph our well-intended ambitions into sources of stress.

In fact, if it goes unchecked, perfectionism can lead to severe stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s a far cry from a functional way of processing things and often turns into a debilitating fear of failure.

So for the sake of your mental health, personal growth, and overall happiness, let’s take a look at overcoming perfectionist tendencies. Here are five ways you can begin to overcome perfectionism, so you can fearlessly pursue your goals.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Especially in today’s post-pandemic, digital age, it’s hard to stop comparing yourself and your life to hundreds of thousands of people online. In fact, so many companies are counting on the fact that you won’t stop comparing yourself to others. It makes people a lot of money when you have low self-esteem.

True happiness comes when you let go of the comparison trap that so many people fall prey to.

Perfectionistic thoughts tell you that your self-esteem can’t thrive when others are way ahead of you. There is always something new to strive for, so why cut yourself a break?

If you’re a high achiever, it’s difficult to let go of this. You have a little voice in your head that tells you to lose another five pounds, get another hundred followers, and appear just a bit more successful. Give yourself a little grace as you learn how to only focus on your own journey – not the journey of others.

The sooner you realize that the life milestones other people achieve don’t detract from your own success, the more you’ll come to appreciate where you are at in your journey right now.

True happiness comes when you let go of comparison.

Kamelia Britton
overcome emotional perfectionism

2. Own Your Imperfections

Listen, we’re all human, and every single of us has things we’d like to change about ourselves. Trends move so quickly these days, and it’s hard to not be acutely aware of every way we don’t measure up.

Sometimes it’s the imperfections in our personalities that can mess with our heads the most. We wish we were a little more outgoing or had better control of our emotions. Oftentimes, dealing with depression, anxiety, or any form of mental illness can really take its toll on our self-image. 

But what if you decided that your imperfections were not only ok, but cool? Or interesting? Or dynamic?

Chances are, the very imperfections you find frustrating are the same reasons why other people are drawn to you. It’s more important to be authentic and own your flaws than pretending to be someone you aren’t.

3. Let Go Of Timelines

You don’t become your best self when you feel rushed to do so.

Planning out your ideal timeline for all your goals is tempting. It’s exciting to think about all you could have in a couple of months or years with some hard work! But what happens when things don’t turn out the way you plan?

Perfectionists tend to have an “all-or-nothing” mindset. You don’t throw away shots you only have one chance at. It can be hard to let go of the idea that you’ve failed when you see others who have accomplished the same thing you have on a shorter timeline.

But, conforming to a timeline is a way of selling yourself short. 

It diminishes the progress you have made along the way and discourages you from feeling inspired.

Your predetermined timelines could be what’s standing between you feeling like a failure and feeling successful. Your well-being will suffer if you cling to an all or nothing mindset

If timelines have you stressed out, now is the time to make a conscious effort to adopt a growth mindset. In its essence, a growth mindset embodies the feeling “not yet” instead of “no”, to overcome perfectionism.

When you’re 100% committed to your goals, it’s not a matter of “if” it’s just a matter of “when”. When you release your perceived constraints around time, you actually collapse it and reach your goal faster with much more ease.

4. Trust The Process

On the journey to your goals, expect that you will feel a variety of positive and negative emotions.

It’s perfectly acceptable to feel various levels of frustration, sadness, disappointment, or burnout when pursuing a goal. It may make you want to give up entirely. You may make some huge mistakes along the way, or someone else will let you down in a way you never expected.

To gain perspective, try practicing this thought:

“Everything is happening for me, not to me”

With the adoption of this mindset, every roadblock on the way to your goal adopts a meaning. It helps you build resilience and shows you a perspective that you likely wouldn’t have considered before. It makes you a more well-rounded person and aids in your personal growth.

overcome emotional perfectionism

Be as willing to forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. 

Kamelia Britton

5. Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is the inner critic that limits your ability to believe in yourself.

This comes in the form of a lowered ability to see opportunities, decreased motivation, depression, and poor relationships.

Studies have shown that among high achievers, those who practiced positive self-talk over negative performed with much higher rates of success. 

So, how do you combat negative self-talk? It starts by being aware that it’s happening. Challenge yourself to mentally “cancel” these thoughts or shift them when you realize they come up. If you can’t make a thought positive, at least try to make it a neutral one.

Some people even find it helpful to give their inner critic a name. You can say “Well, that’s what you think Rachel” or “Interesting comment Darla, but I think I’ll seek another opinion.”

Be as willing to forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. 

Oftentimes, poor self-talk can be stopped when you ask yourself if you would speak to a dear friend in the same way. There is no reason you have to be harder on yourself than you would a close friend.

All in all, overcoming perfectionism means overcoming the fear of failure, abandoning your unrealistic standards, and extending the same love and compassion you have for others to yourself. 

As a high achiever, it’s all the more important that you take care of your mindset around perfectionism. Your perfectionistic thinking isn’t worth the stress, mental health issues, and self-doubt you experience along the way.

If you’re ready to overcome perfectionism I invite you to book a complimentary success session with me. Leave perfectionism behind so you can take your life and business to the next level!

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