Hi, my name is Max and I’m a recovering perfectionist. It has been a plague on my life, and I’m sure on many of yours. When I was a younger I was proud to be a perfectionist, I thought “so what if I can’t achieve actual perfection, at least whatever I do will be pretty close”. Yeah, it doesn’t work that way, I detailed in a recent blog how perfectionism kept me trapped in my illness because I was unwilling to accept the reality of what I could not change in my life, and how giving up turned my life around. And while this unacceptance of reality is one of the most common problems caused by perfectionism it is not, in my opinion, the one that gets in your way the most.
Read More: How Quitting Turned My Life Around.
Instead it is that perfectionism prevents you from accurately prioritizing which flaws to fix. You see to make something perfect it means that every single flaw has to be fixed, or by definition it will not be perfect. This means that all flaws are equally important and therefore of equal priority.
But not all flaws are created equal. Some are huge problems that can completely derail your success, while others are completely irrelevant to your desired outcome. Although the solutions to big problems are often found in small actions they can still seem insurmountable, or at least that they will take a long time to overcome. So instead we often turn our attention to the insignificant ones that we can quickly fix so we can get a “win under our belt” and feel as though we actually accomplished something. Except we didn’t accomplish much at all because these tiny problems made such little impact that they didn’t even need to be solved. We waste years of our lives solving problems that don’t even need to be solved just so we don’t have to face the big ones.
Read More: Small Change, Big Result
The solution to this is to shift from perfect to better. Things can never be perfect, but they can definitely be made better. This means that these tiny problems that have been causing so much stress suddenly lose all their significance. No longer are you trying to make things perfect, so you no longer care about how carefully crafted your latest social media posting is, or if you score a high score in your favorite game, so instead you can turn your attention to the issues that actually affect your life.
If you liked this blog please share it with someone who needs help overcoming their perfectionism addiction, and subscribe so you never miss any of my future blogs. There are quite a few other problems with perfectionism that I will be detailing in future postings.
Until next time,
Max is a health coach serving the Sarnia region. Max specializes in helping people regain their health and keep it long term through habit evolution.