We all experience moments of perfectionism. Sometimes, it’s frequent; other times, it’s sporadic. However, when perfectionism becomes a lifestyle, it’s time for change.  Start at the Core Examine why perfectionism grips you. Is it personal growth or external pressure? Address both for a healthier mindset.

Perfectionism often stems from deep-rooted beliefs and expectations, both internal and external. Taking the time to understand the underlying reasons for your perfectionist tendencies is the first step towards overcoming them. Ask yourself: Am I striving for perfection to genuinely improve myself, or am I seeking approval and validation from others? By identifying the core motivations behind your perfectionism, you can begin to challenge and reframe these beliefs.

Drop the “Should” Reject the need for external validation.

You’re valuable just as you are. The word “should” carries heavy expectations and often leads to feelings of inadequacy. When we constantly tell ourselves what we “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing, we create unnecessary pressure and stress. Instead, focus on accepting yourself unconditionally, recognizing your inherent worth and value independent of external achievements or validations. Remind yourself that you are enough just as you are, without needing to conform to arbitrary standards or expectations set by others.

Rewrite the Script Challenge unrealistic self-talk.

Shift focus from unattainable outcomes to positive affirmations.  Our inner dialogue plays a significant role in perpetuating perfectionism. Negative self-talk can fuel feelings of doubt, fear, and inadequacy, leading to a cycle of unrealistic expectations and constant striving for perfection. To break free from this cycle, practice self-compassion and replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Instead of dwelling on potential failures or shortcomings, focus on your strengths, accomplishments, and progress. By reframing your self-talk, you can cultivate a more balanced and empowering mindset.

Drop the Comparisons Avoid unhealthy comparisons.

Celebrate your progress instead of longing for others’ achievements. In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s on social media, in the workplace, or within our personal circles, constant comparison can fuel feelings of inadequacy and breed perfectionism. Instead of measuring your worth against others’ achievements, focus on your own journey and celebrate your progress. Embrace your unique strengths, talents, and accomplishments, recognizing that everyone’s path is different. By shifting your focus inward and practicing gratitude for your own growth, you can break free from the destructive cycle of comparison.

Show Some Mercy Perfectionism offers no room for failure.

Embrace self-forgiveness and learn from mistakes.  Perfectionism often leaves little room for error, leading to harsh self-criticism and an aversion to failure. However, failure is an inevitable part of the learning process and an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Instead of viewing mistakes as personal shortcomings, reframe them as valuable learning experiences. Practice self-compassion and forgiveness, recognizing that perfection is unattainable and that mistakes are a natural part of being human. By embracing imperfection and learning from your setbacks, you can cultivate resilience and self-acceptance.

These steps may seem trivial, but they’re crucial. Perfectionism hinders relationships and mental well-being. It’s time to break free and embrace imperfection for a fulfilling life.  Defeating perfectionism requires self-awareness, self-compassion, and a willingness to challenge ingrained beliefs and behaviors. By starting at the core, dropping the “shoulds,” rewriting the script of negative self-talk, avoiding unhealthy comparisons, and showing yourself some mercy, you can break free from the grips of perfectionism and embrace a more balanced and fulfilling way of life. Remember, progress, not perfection, is the goal.

Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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