Dealing with perfectionism can be challenging, and it can be confusing when you do not identify as a perfectionist. Here are five brief tips to help you managing and identifying the symptoms:
Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk. This can be hard because often we are not even aware of the negativity think or repeat to ourselves. Examples can look like: Why didn't I see that? How could I have been so dumb/lazy? If "insert name here" was doing it, they would have done it right. I should/could have done x,y,z.
Set realistic and truly attainable goals: Often we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves that no one can achieve consistently. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps to reduce the pressure.
Embrace mistakes: Recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Instead of dwelling on them and shaming yourself, use them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Add this knowledge to your strengths and weaknesses. Remember knowing your weaknesses is not for self-criticism, it is an opportunity to build more resources to areas where you need more support.
Manage your time: Prioritize tasks and set time limits for them. Avoid overcommitting and learn to say no when necessary. Time management can help reduce the symptoms that go along with perfectionism.
Seek support: Share your concerns with friends, family, or a therapist. Talking about your need for high achievement can help you gain new perspectives and coping strategies. Working with a licensed professional is helpful, as they can help point out ways you can replace negative self-talk with a more positive and compassionate tone.
Perfectionistic tendencies are habits that can be changed over time with practice and self-awareness. Start by implementing these tips, and be patient with yourself as you work toward a healthier and more balanced approach to life.