By in Health & Fitness

How to Overcome Perfectionism


Perfectionism is where people have extremely high expectations of themselves in terms of what they should be able to do but very often, these expectations are completely unrealistic and trying to achieve them can cause great unhappiness. While perfectionists often think that their efforts will be rewarded with success, perfectionism can be an unattainable goal. In fact, perfectionism can prevent people from starting tasks. It can also cause people to micromanage others and create a vicious cycle of self-doubt. In addition to affecting their lives, perfectionism can lead to health problems.

How To Overcome Perfectionism

Listed below are some ways to overcome your perfectionism. If you struggle with perfectionism, get help, you may even need professional help.

  1. Try decluttering. People who are perfectionists often acquire extra items, which makes it difficult to organize them. By setting up designated spots for each item, you can prevent yourself from becoming too attached to your possessions. Start by decluttering a small area of your life. Once you've decluttered a small area, you'll be motivated to tackle larger projects. If you're a perfectionist, make a schedule for decluttering. Breaking the habit of perfectionism takes time. It takes repetition to see change, but remember that any new learning always feels uncomfortable.
  2. If perfectionism is a major part of your life, develop an experimental mindset. First, try to identify what emotions trigger perfectionism, and then substitute less destructive behaviors. Aim to change one thing a day at a time. By doing this, you'll find that perfectionism will be less intense and less likely to occur.
  3. In addition to being overly critical, perfectionism can cause a number of health problems. Research shows that over half of people who committed suicide were "perfectionists." Many of these people had high expectations of themselves and others, and this seems to affect young people particularly hard. Further, almost 30% of undergraduates experience depression at some point in their lives. This has led to a large number of studies linking perfectionism to depression.

You should seek help if you are suffering from any of these mental health conditions. Perfectionists also struggle to move on when something doesn't turn out the way they hoped. The fear of failure is greater in perfectionists than in high achievers. Anything less than perfection is seen as a failure. Therefore, it can be difficult for them to embark on new projects. Further, they find it difficult to move on to other areas because they have so much invested in their results. It's not surprising that their perfectionism prevents them from achieving success in their lives.

Although perfectionists often suffer from low self-esteem, their efforts are generally well-meaning. In addition to their inability to achieve success, perfectionists often feel lonely and uncomfortable. In addition, their rigidity can cause them to distance themselves from other people, leading to lower self-esteem. It can even lead to eating disorders and an unhealthy obsession with the appearance of one's body. Further, perfectionism can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, alcohol, and even drugs. One of the best ways to protect yourself from perfectionism is to accept reality. You may be feeling guilty about completing a task because of your high standards, but that shouldn't stop you from finishing it and being happy that it is "good enough". When it comes to creating a project, accepting reality can protect you from its damaging effects.

Accept that mistakes will happen and that things won't always go the way you hoped. This is also a means of learning.

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VinceSummers wrote on May 14, 2022, 1:35 PM

Perfectionism is associated with clutter? I wasn't aware of that. Most curious.

I was listening to a talk recently that indicated a wicked person, at some point in the past, was merely an imperfect person, like the rest of us.

MegL wrote on May 14, 2022, 4:26 PM

Yes, it seems odd doesn't it but having thought it over, it does now seem plausible. We are definitely all imperfect, yet I think some people are brought up to think they have to achieve very high standards, possibly perfection and of course, very often fail. It seems to be a very sad way to live your life. You can read more about it at

Last Edited: May 14, 2022, 4:27 PM

luisga814 wrote on May 24, 2022, 6:31 PM

Perfectionism is connected with curiosity. I remember a day that I once a perfectionism also because I'm a curious for something else. Thanks for sharing with this.

AliCanary wrote on June 12, 2022, 4:04 PM

This is the first time I'm hearing about perfectionism being associated with clutter - I would think that would drive a perfectionist mad, with things not being orderly! A very good aphorism/quote I've heard is that "Perfect is the enemy of Good". Like, if something is good, it's good. Why mess it (and yourself) up trying to make it perfect (which probably isn't possible)?

MegL wrote on June 13, 2022, 1:43 AM

Perfect is definitely the enemy of good. Perfectionists would often rather do nothing than do something that is not perfect!