How to Let Go Of Perfectionism and Find Peace in Your Life

letting go of perfectionism

Feeling unhappy and dissatisfied with your life? Read this article to learn how to let go of perfectionism and lead a life of contentment and vitality.

We all want to be loved and accepted by others, especially by our family, friends and peers.

However, sometimes this need for acceptance gives birth to perfectionism. Believing that you need to have a life full of excellence, accomplishments and achievements to get the love of others could lead you to stress, exhaustion and burnout.

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is having unrealistically high expectations from yourself, others and life, in general. When these expectations are not met, you become disappointed and critical. 

Signs You are Suffering from Perfectionism

5 signs if you are finding it difficult letting go of perfectionism:

1. Oveconcerned with Small Errors and Flaws

You beat yourself up for falling short of your expectations, even if it is just a minor error or flaw. You fear getting rejected, mocked and criticised for your shortcomings. Even the slightest mistake is enough to bring your world come crashing down.

2. Procrastination

You tend to delay working on a solution or project because you are not sure if you will succeed. If you are not confident that you will achieve your target, you won’t even start. This black and white thinking makes you believe that it’s not worth doing a task if you can’t win. The problem with this mental distortion is that you would lose many opportunities in life, feeling stagnant and dissatisfied.

3. You are Never at Peace

Nothing you do gives you satisfaction. You spend your time working on your tasks, putting in efforts day in day out, but instead of feeling accomplished and a sense of contentment, you end up feeling tired, confused and disenchanted with life. Nothing is ever enough for you.

4. You are Critical of Yourself

The bar of your expectations is often so high that whatever you do, you don’t feel confident. It breeds an inferiority complex in you, and that creates low self-esteem. You are never ready for the challenges life throws at you.

 Related: How to Improve Your Self-esteem

5. You are Rigid

Your life is guided by “you should”, “you must”, and “you have to”. Whatever you want must be accomplished. There is no flexibility; there are no preferences. Every wish becomes a demand, and every dream becomes a mandatory goal. Defeats and failures become the biggest punishment of your life.

How to Let Go of Perfectionism

There is more to life than accomplishments and achievements. Getting rid of perfectionism frees you from the misery of every waking hour. You begin to enjoy your life fully, become more mindful and start to live your life in the present. Following shifts in your attitude could help you free from the clutches of perfectionism.

5 ways to let go of perfectionism:

1. Your Worth is Inherent, Not Dependant on the Love and Approval of Others

Your sense of inferiority and self-worthlessness fades away when you start to learn that it’s alright to be imperfect. When you realise that people still accept you and love you for what you are sans your achievements and accomplishments, you embark upon the greatest self-love journey. 

Related: What to Do When You Feel Worthless

2. Change your Perfectionist Thinking Style

There’s nothing like all or nothing in this universe. Nothing is 100 per cent right. We all have our limitations, and recognising them, acknowledging them and pursuing to stretch ourselves in a healthy manner is the key to a peaceful life. When we start a project, instead of getting stressed about the outcome, concentrating on doing the best we can, is one way to ease the anxiety. 

3. Keep Your Mistakes in Perspective

It’s okay to make mistakes. As a matter of fact, without setbacks, we can’t have any real learning in the world. People are not going to reject you for your mistakes. We are human beings, and we have all the rights to make them. Learning from the mistakes, taking corrective actions is the only course of action expected out of us. Magnification of your flaws, minor errors will always distort your reality and will keep on adding unwanted stress to your life.

4. Put a Spotlight on Your Positives

It’s easy to get bogged down when all you see is your failures and mistakes. Learning to recognise the small, positive things you have accomplished can help you feel motivated on your journey. Think of all the ways you have been helpful to someone or small steps you took to move one inch closer to your goal. Your learning and insights are all your successes. Even the most minor things which got done deserve your acknowledgement.

5. Make Realistic Goals

Before setting a goal, ask yourself if you are expecting too much of yourself? Be aware of your limitations. Our time, energy and resources are not uncapped. Each of us has our weaknesses and strengths. Comparing our attributes to others is a surefire way to feel defective, unworthy, and a laggard. Making realistic goals and working on them can help boost your self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.

Conclusion – How to Let Go of Perfectionism

Perfectionism creates dissatisfaction in life. Learning to let go of it not only help unstuck our life but it also brings much-needed peace and contentment.

By setting realistic goals, recognising our inherent worth and learning not to be dependant on our accomplishments for the love of others we can learn how to let go of perfectionism. Acceptance of personal limitations, focussing on our positives, and keeping our mistakes in perspective can help our life moving ahead steadily without exhaustion and burnout.

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