Perfectionist are very good at obsessing about small stuff, exclusively focussing on their own or someone else’s shortcomings and they are accomplished procrastinators because the fear of failure and self-doubts are firmly strung around their own hands. Are you a perfectionist? You’ve come to the right place.
I, too, see every damn picture that isn’t perfectly even. Writing an article, I think about every single word a thousand times. Also – this is just between you and me, ok – when I go shopping and look at a pile of pants, I can tell you if they are in the correct order or not, without looking at the size labels. I can somehow feel it, I kid you not, it can sense if a pattern present or absent. It is weird and sometimes quite annoying.
I bet that you don’t quite fit in and see things that others overlook.
Now that we’ve established that I am, let’s be nice and say, peculiar, you know why you’ve found me. I bet that you don’t quite fit in and see things that others overlook, too.
Let’s find out how we can utilize the positive aspects of being a perfectionist, while at the same time soften the negative aspects that so often impede our own progress.
The secret ingredient
As perfectionists, we tend to set unattainable goals and, as a result, are often frustrated with ourselves or others. What’s more, we are great at obsessing about details and seeing flaws everywhere we look. In other words: We put ourselves in a negative state of mind. We hurt ourselves and those around us by being hypercritical and relentless.
What’s the solution? Stop paying attention to details? Learn to be happy with a mediocre result? No. We don’t need to let go of our ability to dig deep and strive for better solutions.
We can simply transform the frustration and see the so-called imperfections as unique sparkles of beauty. How? Easy. We add the secret ingredient. What’s is it? No, dear Big Bang Theory lovers, it’s not lard and no, dearest Little Britain fans, it’s not butter, either. It’s plain and simple love.
No need to let go of your ability to dig deep and strive for better solutions.
Love has the power of transformation. It safes us and protects us from our home-made tendency to get frustrated or relentless. The moment you look at a perfectionist with a loving eye, the nit-picky perfectionist turns into a detail lover. I invite you now to see yourself through new, loving eyes.
See yourself as a lover for details who sees all the things that others overlook. Appreciate your passion for always going the extra mile, for always doing your best and striving to improve upon yesterday’s you.
Be proud that giving up is never an option because you do nothing half-way. Make peace with the fact that you are never satisfied with the status quo and that you can’t ever lean back and complain but instead have the urge to create change and improve various aspects of life for all of us.
Enjoy the wild ride
All or nothing. That’s how we usually think, isn’t it? We always see stuff that could be done better and we continuously conclude that this and that isn’t finished yet. But nothing ever is, isn’t it? Is there anything that lives up to your standards?
Isn’t that the reason why you haven’t published this book or haven’t applied for a better job yet because nothing’s ever good enough, not even you yourself. How can we shift our perception to value our wonderful selves more?
It’s not all or nothing. It’s a progress.
Make a habit of congratulating yourself for what you’ve done so far. Be proud of your accomplishments of the day.
With this positive state of mind, make a list of what has the potential to become even better (See what I did there? “Become even better” is a completely different world than “not good enough yet”!) and then look forward to all the things you are going to learn and accomplish.
It’s not all or nothing. It’s a progress. By seeing your work as an exciting journey, you allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying the wilde ride that life is.
Be a real pro
Train yourself to see potential and positive traits in others. If perfectionism takes over, you are hyper critical with yourself and you do the same to everyone around you, too. In this state of mind no-one can please you because you only see flaws where-ever you look and the conclusion is: If I want it done right, I’ll have to do it myself.
Real pros are usually perfectionists who have learned to be extremely appreciative and always find something positive to say about others.
In order to not end up overworked and frustrated all the time, we need to switch from judgments to support. Real pros are usually perfectionist who have learned to be extremely supportive, appreciative and always find something positive to say about others.
By showing appreciation, hypercritical tendencies, which often hinder the free flow of creativity, will transform into motivation and inspiration from which your surroundings and you yourself with benefit greatly.
The deserted road
You are the one who walks the extra mile. Every day. As you know from experience, the extra mile is a pretty deserted road. Not many people around there. But no need to feel lonely – this is where you can play and grow – even beyond your own expectations.
Use every opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand – not only as a professional in your field but as a human being, as well.
The last thing to remember is: Get started! You are ready. Ready to do what you’ve postponed for an eternity. Make the first wonderfully scary step and know that all you’ll need to do is what you can do best anyway: Hold on to your love of details and keep seeing what others overlook. Stay thirsty to reshape the status quo and continue creating better ways to co-exist.
While you are walking the extra mile, give yourself space to breathe and room to improve step by step. Enjoy the ride, appreciate your own and other people’s contributions. Use every opportunity to learn, to grow, to expand – not only as a professional in your field but as a human being, as well.
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