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Perfectionism: Where It Helps and Where It Hurts

The desire to do and be our best can motivate us to try new things, improve ourselves, and achieve our goals. However, an abundance of perfectionist tendencies can, in fact, limit our ability to succeed more than we realize! Perfectionism can make us overly self-critical and outcome driven. It can lead to anxiety. For some perfectionists, their fear of being “imperfect” is so strong that they avoid taking certain steps or risks at all.  

If you consider yourself a perfectionist, whether it be in one or multiple aspects of your life, consider trying these four ways of balancing your desire to be perfect with your ability to live a healthy, full life:

Improvement Versus Criticism: There will always be areas of our personal, professional, or financial life where we can improve. As much as we should always pursue growth and progress, if we are constantly striving for “perfect,” we can become more self-critical than is necessary. We can often benefit more by focusing on gratitude and emphasizing our strengths, rather than fixating on flaws or aspects of ourselves that may not be perfect, but are likely perfectly fine and appreciated by friends and family. 

Learn to Be Imperfect: Learning and recovering from mistakes is one of the hardest things we can challenge ourselves to do. We should strive to face the world with the understanding that we may not always do everything the right or best way the first time. If we focus on building our confidence in our ability to adapt and change for the better, we have a better chance of reducing the paralyzing anxiety perfectionists can feel when they or something is not “perfect.” 

Values Over Goals: Sometimes, when our goals and achievements become our sole measure of happiness, we are setting ourselves up to feeling lost or anxious when uncontrollable circumstances affect our desired outcome. If we take time to reflect on and appreciate the values that make us who we are, we can better lead a life that fulfills us. By focusing on the way we live our life each day, we enable ourselves to enjoy our journey. When our minds are less crowded by stress, we are setting ourselves up to see solutions we may not have otherwise noticed if our eyes were focused only on the prize at the end of the line!

Consult a Mentor: Unsure which of your perfectionist habits benefit you, and which are hindering you? If you do not already have a trusted individual who you can turn to for professional and personal insight, start your search. There are men and women out there ready to come to your support. A respected mentor can provide the experienced perspective you need to help you learn when you are striving for excellence, and when you are harboring unhealthy perfectionist obsessions. 

Interested in learning more ways to strike healthy balance in your life? Visit the Syncis blog at www.syncis.com/blog