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Science-Backed Ways To Quiet Your Inner Perfectionist

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https://blog.rescuetime.com/overcoming-perfectionism/

blog.rescuetime.com

Science-Backed Ways To Quiet Your Inner Perfectionist
Some of the greatest thinkers of all time have warned us against perfectionism. "Perfect is the enemy of good," wrote Voltaire. While Aristotle, Confucius, and other classical philosophers advocated for the "golden mean" and not chasing extremes. Yet despite a long history of advocates for being "good enough", we all fall into the trap of perfectionism sometimes.

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The Issue With Perfectionism

The Issue With Perfectionism

The more you chase perfectionism, the more likely you are to procrastinate and then get stressed out when things don’t go exactly how you wanted them to.

Research even ...

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Standards vs Reality

Most perfectionists can’t see their standards are unrealistic and bad for them. To find if you’re a perfectionist, ask yourself if your standards:

  • ... are higher tha...

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Thinking Like An Athlete

In sports, the drive for perfectionism is a positive force and turn setbacks into opportunities to reflect, learn, and adjust your approach. But regular perfectionists

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Being Comfortable With Not Knowing

To feel comfortable with the uncomfortable:

  • Think what’s the worst-case scenario of a situation that's stressing you out, to see that the consequences aren’t as bad.
  • Ha...

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Set Limits To Your Effort

Run a small experiment where you either purposefully stop early or give yourself hard limits on your work. So you have an opportunity to disprove your perfectionistic belie...

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Asking For 30/90 Feedback

If a project is at 90%, you’re asking for line-level feedback like typos, glitches, or silly mistakes. At 30%, the reviewer skips over those things (assuming they’...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

You...

Get an outside perspective on your perfectionist tendencies

Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.

Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.

Interrupting the cycle of rumination

  • Take note of when you’re ruminating and what triggers it until you can see your patterns and find ways to counteract them.
  • Don't trust your first reaction when ruminating. Most of the time, it colors negatively your read of the situation.
  • Seek a diversion to break the rumination cycle.
  • Think positively: remembering your successes and times you tried new things helps you to not be avoidant of tasks you can’t do perfectly.

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“Done” is always better than “Perfect”

“Done” is always better than “Perfect”

“Perfect” and “productive” aren’t the same thing; perfectionism is actually counterproductive.

Just because society is placing a higher value on perfection doesn’t mean you...

3 types of perfectionism

  • Self-oriented: when people are highly critical of themselves.
  • Other-oriented: when people are highly critical of others.
  • Socially-prescribed: when people think others expect them to be perfect and then pressure themselves to be perfect in order to meet those expectations.

What causes perfectionism

  • Competitive work environments: If you work in a culture that demands perfection, you’ll probably start demanding perfection.
  • Pride and personality: Some persons have personalities that are naturally susceptible to perfectionism.
  • Fear of failure: People identify with their failure. They will strive for perfection as self-preservation.

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3 types of perfectionism

  • Self-oriented: the irrational desire to be perfect.
  • Socially prescribed: perceiving excessive expectations from others.
  • Other-oriented: placing unrealistic...

Perfectionism harms productivity

Seeking perfection can create paralysis that hurts productivity. 

You procrastinate to distract yourself from the big scary tasks you have to do. And you end up beating yourself up later because you wasted so much time.

Julie Morgenstern

Julie Morgenstern

“Perfectionism is a pretty rampant problem (...) It may be worse in an era of social media where everybody’s posting the most curated, best, perfect lives and achievements. We’re constantly surrounding by the best way, the perfect way, the right way in our personal and our work lives.” 

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