How to Get Past Perfectionism

focus Jun 09, 2022

Still unpacking the glittery outfits from a weekend in Vegas.


This was unlike any other Vegas trip I’ve ever been on.  Yes there were bright lights and late nights but during the day I was at a personal development conference to LEVEL UP.


I won’t get into all the details of the event, but I will say it was AMAZING!


In the personal development world, we are often asked to look at what is holding us back from reaching that next level of achievement…regardless of what you are trying to achieve.


One thing that always that comes up for me is perfectionism and after sitting in room full of others going through the same exercise, I know that I’m not alone.

Perfectionism Defined

Let’s start by defining perfectionism. For me it has always been allowing something to take way longer than it should (or possibly never even completing it) because I want every detail to be just right.


After spending some time researching the subject of perfectionism. I found it can show up differently.  For some it can mean always pushing forward because you are never satisfied with what you have or what you have done.  It can also be self sabotage, so you can use that as an excuse for not performing at your best. Finally, it can also take on a social profile in that your self esteem is contingent on what others think of you.


Perfectionism is a huge subject and this is a gloss over of it’s definition.  I’ve covered it in the past and I know I will get into it again. Today I want to focus less on defining it and more on how to move past it.


Perfectionism Busters

Growth Mindset Perfectionists are strivers. Their whole identity can get wrapped into just one goal. Using a growth mindset instead of focusing on the outcome, you shift your focus to the effort. Focus on the progress you are making. 


As a mom, the easy example here is to share a child’s effort in school. I’ve shared before both my kids have ADHD and trouble focusing.  I want them to be succesful in school but this won’t mean a perfect report card. I encourage them to study and use the tools to focus. As long as I see that they are putting in the work, I shower them with praise.


Michael Brustein, a clinical psychologist in Manhattan, likes to get his perfectionist clients to create values that are important to them, then try to shift their focus to living according to those values rather than achieving specific goals. It’s a play on the “You really stuck with it” message for kids. In other words, it isn’t about doing a headstand in yoga class; it’s about going to yoga class in the first place, because you like to be the kind of person who takes care of herself. This was reported in Atlantic.


The Brag Book is another tool to fight perfectionism. When you do something you are proud of or someone praises you for something, take note! 


It doesn't have to actually be an old school book, it can be notes that you keep on your phone, anyplace where you collect your thoughts or comments from others, testimonials, or a cute note from your kid. Something that you're proud of and to remind yourself you can when you're struggling with that perfectionism. You can look back into this brag book and just see that you've done things that you've been proud of in the past and remind yourself of the journey that it took for you to get there. 


I like to use Evernote. It is a digital note taking app. It's fantastic because I can use voice to text when I can't stop to type something into my phone. If a kid gives me a cute note that I want to keep, I can snap a photo and save it digitally. You can even clip audio messages.


Be imperfect on purpose. I came across this idea in my research and I have to admit, I hadn’t tried it myself until my LIVE on Tuesday.  It's a good challenge to give myself.


The way I saw this shared was hanging the towel in your bathroom crooked on purpose. Now I'm not like that much of a perfectionist, but I do walk past my kids bathroom that's like a hot mess 99% of the time and it makes me cringe. 


Try it out and let me know what you think. Any of these strategies above…the post isn’t quite perfect but it’s time to publish so I’m hitting post anyways.

Grab your freebie!!

You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life.  Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.

Yes Please

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