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Perfectionist much? Here’s how to silence your worst frenemy

‘Name three negative qualities’ is often asked during job interviews. Chances are, you once (proudly) named ‘perfectionism’ being one of them. Perfectly understandable, since it’s seen as a good trait to have. And, well, it has ‘perfect’ in it, so we can’t really blame you. But although it can attribute to a good work ethic, it can also become your worst enemy– or should we say frenemy?

Imperfect is the new perfect

Research points out that there’s a close link between perfectionism and burnouts. This really shouldn’t be all that surprising, as perfectionists are constantly dealing with internal pressure and the fear of failing. Having these high expectations of yourself can cause a tremendous amount of stress to build-up that you have to cope with on a daily basis. And eventually people crack under the pressure, so let’s start to embrace the beauty of imperfection, shall we?

Let it go, can’t hold you back anymore

We want to do every task equally as good and there’s literally no room for mistakes or failure. But that’s not how life works, is it? So why expect it?

We think it’s safe to say that perfectionism provides a fair amount of stress in your life. So, why carry around that burden? It’s time to let it go, stop the pursuit for perfection. It’s a dangerous endeavour that can cost you precious friendships, relationships, and eventually your overall health and well-being. There’s nothing wrong with being high achieving. But there’s a difference between being a high achiever and a perfectionist: the latter is less forgiving.

Bye, bye, bye

Don’t let the perfectionism rob you from your pride. And, this one’s important, learn to delegate. As a true perfectionist you probably have a natural tendency to look for mistakes, even in your best work. Maybe even in the best work of your co-workers. You probably can’t even help it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not draining. It is good to realise that you don’t – we repeat: you do not – have to do everything yourself. Have a little faith in your co-workers, they’re there for a reason. De-le-gate.

So, what? You’re still a Rockstar

When you were young and you didn’t win the annual spellings bee at school, or got a C for that Math quiz you were cramming so hard for, your mum probably told you that good is good enough. Well, you know what: your mum was right. And yes, we are well aware of just how corny that sounds, but sometimes we could all use a little corny in our lives. And ‘good’ means you’re still killing – at least in our eyes.

Since you’ve been gone, I can breathe for the first time

Once you experience life without the heavy load of perfectionism always looking over your shoulder –we promise, you never want to go back. So, how about from now on, you aim for good enough? Try to catch yourself on those negative thoughts, right in the act, and write down three things you’re happy with instead. Stop comparing yourself with others, what’s the point? Just focus on you. And every now and then, look back to see how far you’ve come.

 

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