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Caree Brown L.C.S.W. Psychotherapy

Individual, Couples, & Family Therapy


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Letting Go of Perfectionism

Being perfect may not be all it is cracked up to be.So many of us spend all of our time trying to live up to the standards that we set for ourselves.Often times, those standards are so high that it takes far too much time and energy to live up to them and we lose out in other areas of our lives. Letting go of perfectionism may not be easy, but it a healthy exercise in living a more stress-free life.

Being the best we can be helps us to achieve our goals but there is also a downside.Trying to be perfect at everything can actually be a detriment to other areas of our life.

1.We are less efficient

When we finish a task we never truly feel like it is finished.There always seems to be something that we can improve on and this takes up a lot of our time.We end up spending more time on a task than is really needed and that ends up taking time from other things that need doing.

2.We are less effective

We end up doing things that may seem like a good addition to a project but it really does not serve a purpose.The additions often do not add any value and frequently they even detract from or ruin a project.

3.We procrastinate

Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate a project because we want it to be perfect.When that happens, a simple task becomes difficult and we have a hard time getting started on it.We wait for the perfect moment to get it done but that moment may never arrive.

4.We miss the big picture

When we get hung up on perfecting every detail, we forget to see the end vision of the project.When we lose sight of the big picture, it is difficult to reach the end goal.

5.We worry about problems that do not exist

Sometimes in our quest to be perfect we anticipate problems that may or may not happen.We become obsessed with fixing a problem that may not even happen or is relatively minor.

Perfectionism is not a problem if you do not allow it to be.It helps us to aim for high standards and meet the highest potential.It only becomes a problem if the quest to be perfect results in an obsession.If you refuse to accept anything less than perfect you end up neurotic in the goal to be perfect.

You do not have to stop striving for perfectionism, but you do need to be conscious of your tendencies so that you can manage them accordingly.You can strive to be a healthy perfectionist so that you are not known as a maladaptive perfectionist.

Tips for Managing Perfectionist Tendencies

Draw a Line

Decide what is necessary and what is too much.Rather than reviewing a project ten times, review it once or twice and then submit it.

Be Conscious of Trade-Offs

When we are spending time and energy on one project, we are missing out on time spent elsewhere doing something more effective.

Remember the Big Picture

Keep your end objective in mind and make sure that what you are doing is going to help you meet your weekly goals.

Do the Big Tasks

Do not spend your time on menial tasks that are not important.Do the task quickly and move on or delegate the task to someone else if you can better use your time on a more important job.

Set a Time Limit

Decide the amount of time you have to work on a project and stick to your schedule.If you set a time limit of four hours then the project will take four hours.If you set a limit of three hours it will take three and you will have an extra hour to spend elsewhere.

Be Okay with Mistakes

We always want our work to be perfect but that is not always achievable and we can’t obsess over it.If we work too hard on perfecting one thing, we will never move on to the next task.

Realize that Concerns Often Amount to Nothing

Sometimes we just have to go with what is happening and deal with obstacles as they are encountered.You can’t predict everything that could happen or go wrong so move forward and deal with issues as they arise.

Take Breaks

If you find you are not being productive, take a break so you can refocus.If you can return to your project with a fresh mind, you will be able to accomplish more.

If you have perfectionist tendencies that you would like to work through so that you can let go of perfectionism and be more productive in the long run, book an appointment with Caree Brown L.C.S.W. Psycotherapy. She can help you work through and find the root of the problem then offer ways to tackle the issue one step at a time.

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