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Letting go of perfectionism

By Ayesha Habib : Pakistan

The 21st century is a competitive era, where everyone is busy in a fast and furious race in one way or another. In my personal opinion, competition within yourself is a healthier one, where one intends and looks forward to growing and molding in a better version of themselves. A factor that can hold back a person from a continuous and finer transformation can be the fear of making mistakes or fear of rejection. The increased competition among individuals rather than to themselves has given much space to the Idea of Perfectionism.

In Psychology, perfectionism is a personality style denote by strict self-evolution and scrutinizing regarding other's evaluations. A person's concern and striving for faultlessness and perfection also comes under the shade of perfectionism. It is usually an unhealthy trait however, some people may look at it as a healthy one. A perfectionist mind hesitates and avoids sharing, looks forward to achieving an error-free idea or work.

90% perfect shared with the world always changes more lives than 100% perfect and stuck in your head.

- Jon Acuff, author and motivational speaker

Perfectionists do not tend to give attention to the process but only focus on results. The procedure of being a perfectionist comes at costs of gloominess, frustration, impatience, rigidity, low motivation, anger and, more.

The vicious cycle of perfectionism involves:

○ Setting unrealistic or highly critical goals.

○ Fear of failure leading to procrastination.

○ A lower productivity and effectiveness results in self-criticism and lower self-esteem.

○ The trigger of anxiety and depression can bring a lack of confidence.

○ Feeling of doing harder next time and having even greater fear of failure.

○ One eventually fails or quits.

How to overcome perfectionism


The idea of overcoming perfectionism can be difficult but not impossible. Understanding and focusing on positive and realistic mindsets can be the key factors towards a healthy thought process. Some others include:

○ Practicing self-compassion, be kind to yourself even the things don't go as planned.

○ Adopting a growth mindset that is to see failure as the opportunity to grow.

○ Enjoy the learning process rather than focusing on results.

○ Practice surpassing the negative thoughts coming your way.

○ Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on personal growth.

○ Observe yourself, experiment, change the core concepts and replace the motivation behind perfectionism with a higher purpose and value.

Replacement of perfectionism through excellence can also help to adopt a much productive and healthy outlook. Excellence can be practiced through the sustainable thought process considering and setting high but achievable realistic goals. To see oneself from a balanced perspective, with both strengths and weaknesses. An excellence seeker will also focus on the process and welcome criticism.

To Conclude:

The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake, you can't learn anything from being perfect. - Adam Osborne, American Author.

To make errors is within human nature. Realization, acceptance, and stamina of receiving constructive criticism can make a mental model go easier.


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