ARE you highly critical of yourself?

DO you set unrealistic standards for yourself and others?

DO you have a fear of failure?

These are some of the behaviors of a perfectionist.  Living the life of a perfectionist can be exhausting and stressful. Your anxiety about making mistakes can interfere with putting your best foot forward and can cause you to be stagnant in your endeavors. Implementing the following steps can help you relax and learn to take life as it comes.


Take These Steps With Yourself:

Learn from your mistakes. Understand that mistakes are your friends. Successful people typically make many mistakes because they are open to taking more risks. Allowing your mistakes to teach you how to do better next time will help you make progress.

Identify more sources of fulfillment. Perfectionism is often coupled with a focus on prestige, material possessions and other external factors that are prone to sudden change. When you shift your goals to cultivating loving relationships and a positive outlook, you will experience more peace and contentment.

Take a step-by-step approach to tasks. If you're worried about getting every detail of a job right, you may find it difficult to even start the task. Stop procrastinating and get moving by breaking down the steps of a task and tackling them one at a time.

Let go of rigidity when appropriate. Decide when you need to be scheduled and meticulous and when it's okay to improvise. A detailed itinerary is useful for a business trip, but you can just enjoy whatever happens when you spend an afternoon playing with your kids.

Do things for the fun of it. Engage in activities without any score-keeping or expectations. Make room for this every day. Try to hold onto the peaceful state of mind you experience and carry that with you throughout your day .  

Practice relaxation techniques regularly. Studies show that people with a tendency for perfectionism build up higher levels of some stress hormones. Build time in your day for meditation, listening to peaceful music or taking a bath.


Take These Steps in Your Relationships With Others:

Take the pressure off your kids. Key ingredients for healthy child development include reasonable expectations and opportunities for unstructured play. Kids can enjoy swimming without trying to set Olympic records.

Praise others for their efforts. In the long run, a hard-earned B may be worth more than an easy A. Give your child a big hand for persisting. The fact that your spouse helping with the household chores is more important than how the chores are performed.  Let go of expectations and exercise gratitude.

Celebrate other people's victories. It’s easy to feel like a loser when you compare yourself to others because as a perfectionist, you can always find someone who does it better. Instead, rejoice in other people's successes. This mindset will free you from comparisons and enrich your relationships.

Share your struggles. It is lonely and difficult to go through life feeling as if you must hide your weaknesses. Opening up about your challenges with others allows you to find support and acceptance and helps other people do the same.

Be open to feedback. Negative self-talk can make you apprehensive about receiving criticism from others. Face the situation head on by asking for feedback from people you trust. This can help develop healthy communication between you and others.

Take charge of your own happiness. As you recognize that your happiness comes from within, you'll feel less need to try to control your environment and the behavior of others. Focus on maintaining your peace of mind even when things go wrong or just turn out differently from what you expected.

By overcoming a tendency towards perfectionism, you'll enjoy more peace and feel more energy. It's easier to pursue excellence when you set realistic goals and know how to learn from your mistakes. When you refrain from desiring others to perform at your level of expectation, it releases them from fear of failure and your relationships become healthier and more enjoyable.

Share your journey from perfectionism to acceptance in the comments below!


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