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How to Develop a Healthier Outlook and Learn to Be Perfectly Imperfect

Learn To Handle Criticism

Learn To Handle Criticism

If criticism makes you defensive, an attitude change can help.

Constructive criticism can show you how to improve, making your less-than-perfect performances into steps towards excellence. If the criticism you’re receiving is pointed or harsh, it’s okay to remind others and yourself that mistakes are a great way to learn.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Develop a Healthier Outlook and Learn to Be Perfectly Imperfect

How to Develop a Healthier Outlook and Learn to Be Perfectly Imperfect

https://www.verywellmind.com/overcoming-perfectionism-how-to-work-past-perfectionism-3144700

verywellmind.com

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Key Ideas

Learn To Handle Criticism

If criticism makes you defensive, an attitude change can help.

Constructive criticism can show you how to improve, making your less-than-perfect performances into steps towards excellence. If the criticism you’re receiving is pointed or harsh, it’s okay to remind others and yourself that mistakes are a great way to learn.

Set Reasonable Goals

Perfectionists tend to set goals of unreasonable excellence with no learning curve or room for error.

Dividing your goals into more achievable steps and rewarding yourself when you achieve them, will make you less stressed, less likely to give up and more forgiving of mistakes.

Alter Your Self-Talk In a Positive Way

Perfectionists tend to be very self-critical but this can perpetuate unhealthy behaviors and decrease their self-esteem.

By altering your self-talk positively, you can better enjoy life and gain an increased appreciation for yourself and your work.

Balance Your Critical Focus

Perfectionists tend to notice mistakes and often notice them above all else. But you can soften this tendency by consciously trying to notice the good in things.

When you spot perceived flaws look for five other qualities that you do like. This will balance out your critical focus and become a positive new habit.

Be Aware Of Your Perfectionistic Patterns

You may not see how pervasive perfectionism can be. Becoming more aware of your patterns, you’re in a better position to alter them.

To do that, you can record your perfectionistic thoughts and go over them later writing down what you thought at the time.

Knowledge How Perfectionism Is Affecting You

List the ways perfectionism is hurting you and others, and you’ll be more motivated to shed these tendencies.

Perfectionism has many negative consequences, and you may be unwittingly experiencing them.

Perfectionists Vs. High Achievers

Perfectionism differs from high achievement in its focus. If you are striving for excellence, you can be happy about your achievements and learn from your mistakes.

Perfectionists obsess over perceived insufficiencies, robbing themselves of the satisfaction of succeeding. They consistently fear failing and becoming low achievers.

Ways To Enjoy The Process

  • Divide your goals into achievable steps,
  • Get involved with others trying to achieve the same goal you are
  • Journal about how you feel and what you learn as you reach toward your goal.
  • When failures happen, reflect and see what you’ve gained in the process.
  • Focus on the process of reaching toward a goal, rather than the goal itself.

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Even if you have a clear goal of what perfection means, obsessively pursuing it is a sign of insecurity.

And insecurity, when not addressed directly, doesn’t go away because a concrete objective has been achieved, it manifests itself into self-criticism or a new overvalued goal.

Not Allowing Yourself To Fail

Instead of forgiving and viewing mistakes as a learning opportunity, you criticize and put pressure on yourself for not predicting a less than perfect outcome. You feel inadequate, and these feelings preoccupy your mind, often to the point of losing productivity.

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Perfectionism: The Pursuit Of Constant Excellence
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Perfectionism: The Good

The good aspects of being perfect are intrinsic motivation, extreme focus, ambitious goals, strong work ethic and high personal standards. They are also highly coachable.

Elite performers are often perfectionists as their activity requires error-free performance.

Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan

"“Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.”

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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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Perfectionism

It can either propel you into serious action or paralyze your ability to accomplish even the most basic tasks.

Often, those who struggle with perfectionism have issues giving up control. In ...

Accept the outcome

If you’re struggling with the thought of submitting a task that you feel is less than perfect, create a list of the worst-case scenarios.

Ask yourself what's the worst that can happen. You'll most likely find out that the only negative aspect is the continuous rumination that'll keep you from finishing other important work.

Shifting your perspective

The positive side of perfectionism is the idea that you possess the motivation and a level of detailed attention that is unmatched by many.

The trouble happens, though, when you get so caught up in the details that you fail to see the bigger picture.

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Perfectionism and to-do lists

To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.

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Break down projects

 ... into manageable tasks. 

This way, you're armed with a set of concrete actions to take rather a vague cloud of high expectations.

Define the next action

... rather than all subsequent steps.

Focusing only on the next action gives you permission to work on something even if you don’t have it all figured out—which is crucial to completing tasks that in the past have left you paralyzed.

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Perfectionist Behavior
Perfectionist Behavior

Perfectionist behavior is a broad personality trait prevalent in today's generation. It is defined as a hypercritical relationship with one's self.

While settin...

Perfectly Curated Life

Perfectionism is a growing cultural phenomenon that has engulfed a large set of people including celebrities. Some of the causes are:

  • Modern parenting
  • Competitive economy
  • Consumerism and advertising
  • Social Media.
Perfectionism x1000

Social Media acts as the biggest culprit in amplifying perfectionism as youngsters can constantly compare their looks and their lives to others in easily measurable ways.

There is an increased expectation from our family and our peers to be perfect in all aspects of our lives.

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

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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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Replace The Bad With Some Good

Take a negative thought and change it to something encouraging that's also accurate. Repeat until you find yourself needing to do it less and less often. 

Notice And Stop That Thought

Simply stopping negative thoughts in their tracks can be helpful. This is known as "thought-stopping" and can take the form of snapping a rubber band on your wrist, visualizing a stop sign, or simply changing to another thought when a negative train of thought enters your mind.

Say It Out Loud

Telling a trusted friend what you're thinking about can often lead to support or a good laugh when the negative self-talk is ridiculous. Even saying some negative self-talk phrases under your breath can remind you how unreasonable and unrealistic they sound, and remind you to give yourself a break.

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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.

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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 than those of others.
  • ... can be met by you or others.
  • ... help or get in the way of you achieving your goals.
  • ... can be relaxed without affecting much the end result.
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 keep revisiting past failures as a form of self-condemnation.

All this does is cause them to raise the bar even higher, increasing the likelihood of failure. Try to see failure as simply a launching place for success, so you can break away from perfectionism.

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