Are you following me on Instagram? If not, join me over there by clicking HERE!
About Me Blog Store Contact Me Home Learn more about coaching HERE. Login

5 Tips for Managing Perfectionism

Aug 17, 2022

Do you suffer from perfectionism? This can take place when you think you need to learn more before starting, when you think you need to keep checking something and refining it over and over, when you create stories in your mind about a catastrophic outcome if you put something out into the world that is less than perfect, when you worry that people will not approve of you if something is less than perfect, or when you try to control situations and other people who are not meeting your expectations. While perfectionism can be motivating at times, the problem with perfectionism is that in the pursuit of trying to be perfect, you get less done, you feel like you are disappointing others, or you feel less confident in yourself.


Perfectionism is usually driven by internal pressure. The standards of a perfectionist are usually much higher than the standards of others and often, the standards are unrealistic. Perfectionists spend a lot of time focusing on mistakes and are driven by fear of not performing up to the expectations they set for themselves. Perfectionists may have “black and white thinking” where something is either 100% good, or 100% bad. They are not okay with things being “good enough”, “almost perfect”, or “acceptable”.


In addition, perfectionists measure their success only by the end result. They don’t give credit to their effort, or to the process of getting to the end result, and therefore can miss out on the positive experience of growing and learning along the way. Because of this, perfectionists can also look like procrastinators. This is because until they are 100% certain their end result will be perfect; they hold off on doing anything. In these instances, the drive for perfectionism can result in negative consequences because the perfectionist is viewed as unproductive or not able to meet deadlines.


Below are 5 tips for overcoming perfectionism.


  • Write down the pros and cons of your perfectionist thinking. Take some time with this and identify how it helps you, and in what ways it hinders you, including how it makes you feel.


  • Consider what advice you would give to a friend trying to be perfect at everything. Would you encourage them to be perfect at everything, or would you suggest that they give themselves some grace if everything is not perfect 100% of the time.


  • Identify the areas where “B” level work is acceptable. Does everything really need to be “A+” work? A “B” is a perfectly acceptable grade in school and still well above average, so figure out where “B” work is acceptable in your life.


  • Get into action. Stop procrastinating, set a timer for how long you will work to get something done, and start. Stop overthinking and tell yourself you will finish in the time allotted. Your mind will adjust to this way of thinking and not only will you reduce procrastination, you will also get more done in less time.


  • Celebrate the non-perfectionist wins. Reflect on the areas where you took action without overthinking or over checking something and note when things still worked out well. Use this to remind yourself that imperfect action is better than no action. Over time this will rewire your brain and reduce the instances of your perfectionist thinking holding you back.


Working with a therapist or a coach can also be helpful in changing perfectionist thinking. If you feel you are a perfectionist, know that there are others who respect you and value you, even if everything you do is not up to your perfectionist standards. You can change your thinking and get to a place where you set realistic goals for yourself that allow you to enjoy the process of working towards them, instead of fearing failure.


If you are interested in learning more about “black and white thinking”, you can download my free guide to 5 Common Thought Distortions HERE. This guide will help you understand these thought distortions, why they occur, and offers specific strategies you can use to challenge and “undo” them over time. You can grab it HERE.

Stay connected to receive valuable new content and inspiration weekly!

Join the Karen Vincent Solutions mailing list by clicking HERE, to receive the latest news and updates to help you Live Your Best Life. Your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.