One of the most painful, disturbing problems in life is perfectionism. Though the label sounds like a good thing, if you are a perfectionist at work, you’re actually killing your positive energy. Perfectionism in the work place results in an exhausting work culture that affects mood and health. While this is an especially tricky problem to solve — perfectionists don’t like answers that don’t paint them as perfect — it’s one we need to tackle today.
Allow Yourself to Be Imperfect… Even If You’re a Perfectionist
Let me speak for myself and a lot of my students, and then you can see if you fit this description. After all, understanding how to beat perfectionism means understanding where it comes from. A lot of my students and I got our perfectionism from a place of either over-criticism, or an over-reliance on approval from others when we were young.
If you take a look at those two contributing factors, you can ask, “Did my parents, teachers, elders, brothers, sisters or whoever I respected criticize me so severely, once or often, that it still pains me to this day?”
What if that isn’t the case? Then you need to ask yourself this: if you didn’t get the approval, were you ostracized at school?
If so, then there’s a fear that when you do something wrong, something bad will happen. With this as a motivator, perfectionism makes sense. However, that still doesn’t make it healthy or useful.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist
Once you know why you’ve got this perfectionism going on, you have to ask, “Is it worth it and does it help me?”
There are some really positive elements about being a perfectionist, and there are really negative ones. What can possibly be good about being a perfectionist?
The obvious one is that usually perfectionists attempt to do things with excellence. You should take that, enjoy it, embrace it and say, “That’s a great thing that I have this perfectionism. It gives me an opportunity to want to be excellent, and that is a very great trait.”
On the negative side, it hurts energy. It makes you feel like you can never be right or good enough, and you never achieve enough. Because you’re never good enough ,and you don’t feel good about whatever you do, you start to not want to take on new things. After all, you know you’re just going to get that bad feeling back again.
How to Solve Perfectionism
Here’s how you can fix these negative thoughts:
- Locate where your perfection/imperfection comes from and accept it without judgment. 21st century Buddha says, “Sh*t happens.” Getting over it is a process, but knowledge is empowerment.
- It’s a conditioned process. You can un-condition it.
When you start to have negative thoughts about what you’ve created, say, “Thank you for sharing,” Then, get yourself back into the game and acknowledge it, “I’m going to start fresh today. Today I’m perfect in the universe.”
This is literally true, by the way. On a spiritual level, you’re perfect the way you are, with all of your flaws, good things and bad things.
If you see something is not perfect, allow yourself to play. Allow yourself to be imperfect and messy, and allow yourself to screw up once in a while. See that you’re not going to die.
Here’s one of the homework assignments we give for people in some of the courses for perfectionists: dress with your clothes backward. I want you to have your shirt half in and half out. I want your underwear to be showing, and I want your hair to be all messed up. See how it feels. See that nothing terrible happens.
Allow yourself to be imperfect. Allow yourself to love yourself no matter how you are.
Love yourself unconditionally no matter what. That is the answer.
For Your Freedom,
Now that you’ve started working on yourself, why stop? After all, do you have everything that you want in life? Success? Inner peace? Amazing health? Fabulous relationships? If not, join me on one of my upcoming web classes, “Don’t Believe A Thought You Think“, where you’ll learn exactly how to have all the success, inner peace, health, relationships, etc. that you want and deserve.