Are you the type of person who always has to have things just right? Do you expect the people around you to meet your own high expectations? Maybe you think youre just a perfectionist, but having high standards isnt always a good thing.
What are some symptoms of perfectionism anyway? Well, maybe you take on every task thats handed to you. You might find it hard to say no, for fear of disappointing those around you.
Maybe youre exceptionally well organised and finish your tasks early. Or maybe youre one of those people whos constantly procrastinating because you dont want to do anything unless its the absolute best you can do.
Essentially, perfectionism is all about having unrealistic expectations. If you havent done things as well as you would have liked to, youll get upset, even if everyone else is amazed.
Its hard to believe because perfectionists seem so together, but a lot actually suffer from a lack of self-confidence. They think that they have to be just right in order to keep their world under control.
So, if you are a perfectionist, what can you do to break your habits? Its as simple, and as difficult, as changing your patterns of thinking.
See, its likely that you tend to think negatively. For example, “I rushed this work project, so now people are going to think Im lazy”, or “I was so tired, I didnt do the housework. People are going to think I cant look after my family.”
Its these thought patterns that need to be changed. If you make yourself aware of what youre thinking before you act on it, you can change what the outcome is.
Instead of thinking, “I cant look after my family” because you were too tired to clean the house, tell yourself that its okay to leave the housework for one more day because it was a long day at work.
Enlist the support of your family and loved ones. Tell them that youre trying to break some old habits and you really need their reassurance. This will help you because youll have someone telling you when youre about to start being pedantic.
Set goals that are realistic and that can be easily achieved. Dont try to aim for the best, just aim for what will make you happy. You dont need more than that.
More importantly, give yourself credit for all the things youve achieved in your life. Praise yourself. After a while, youll stop thinking negatively and will start to give yourself the praise that youre due.
Once youre happy within yourself, others will notice that too.
It can be a long road to breaking the perfectionist cycle but its a journey well worth taking. At the end of it youll feel happier and more relaxed.
And instead of trying to get a project just right, youll know when to let it go so that you can enjoy more time doing the things you love to do!