10 Tips for Managing Perfectionism

Cassandra Morrison
February 9, 2022

I’m sure we’ve all struggled with perfectionism to one degree or another.

We all want to do well, and we’d love for things to be perfect. But there comes a point when always striving to be the best, can actually start to hold us back.

Being a struggling perfectionist myself, I thought I’d share some of my favourite tips and mindsets that I use to help change my perspective on always striving for perfection, and to help keep those worries from taking over.

…And it ain’t no walk in the park. I’ll tell you that!

*Disclaimer: All of the opinions presented in this post are not professional advice and are meant for inspirational and entertainment purposes only.*


green highlighter highlighting word recognize in dictionary

Perfectionism can become a pretty bad habit, and the best way to kick a bad habit is, first, to recognize it.

Recognize the repeated judgement when your perfectionist tries to tell you that you didn’t do good enough, notice when it comes up and take it as some simple, constructive feedback. Agree to consider it for next time, use it to fuel your excitement about doing better in your next performance, and then let it go.

Choose Compassion

holding hands

We can be so hard on ourselves. And, sometimes, you might spend hours worrying about things that other’s hardly notice. So I think we deserve a break, don’t you? Whenever I find myself judging myself for not being better or “perfect”, I think of someone or something that I love, and who loves me. And if I were to look at my performance through their eyes, how would they see me? What would they say? It usually helps take me out of my judgemental mind, and into one that’s more objective and kind.

Everything is Temporary

alarm clock

The truth is, we won’t live forever, and we won’t always have the opportunities we have now. And I think it would be sad to spend our lives dwelling on imperfections or past performances so much that we miss all of the chances we have now. To me, getting nothing done in life is worse than making some mistakes along the way, but still making something. There’s no end to editing and there’s no changing the past. So, I learned to get comfortable with the uncomfortable reality of “enough.” And that’s my new “perfect”.

Imperfections are your Strength

girl lifting weight

You wouldn’t be who you are today if your flaws weren’t a part of you. And you wouldn’t have achieved any of the accomplishments that you have thus far, or be where you are today if you didn’t have imperfect performances along the way. Because they allowed you to improve, learn, and grow. I think we should always focus on improving rather than perfecting, because flaws will always be there, it’s how we deal with them and use them that makes us who we are.

Things aren’t Always as they may Seem

I saw this optical illusion the other day and thought it was interesting. Look at the black dot on the left. Now what direction is the other circle moving?

Now look at the moving circle, and follow it with your finger. Which way is it actually moving?

moving pixels illusion
Image Source: VOX

Weird, right?

Clearly, we don’t always see things as they are. Sometimes we’re so focused on one perspective that we believe things are one way, when really, they’re not. Perfection really is an illusion. We all know we see ourselves differently than others do, that’s why people will love our work when we hate it. You may have thought your performance was terrible, when everyone else saw magic. That’s the beauty of life – it’s what creates individuality and diversity. There is no perfection, only perception.

So think about that next time perfectionism tries to trick you into the elusive idea of “perfection”.

Perfect is Boring

girl bored

We might think we want “perfect”, but really, we don’t. Perfection results in no growth, and we would get so tired of that so fast. Because there would be nothing new – and we crave new. 

Use Deadlines

circling number in agenda deadline

If you find yourself over-practicing for something to get perfect at it, or overanalyzing a performance that’s passed, give yourself a time limit. You have 10 minutes to ruminate and reflect on what you can do better, and once that deadline hits, you move on. It helps to even have someone holding you to that deadline. In fact, if I didn’t have a deadline for this post, you’d never be reading it – I would probably never finish it. But I did. Sometimes we need a bit of outside help and motivation, which leads me to my final tip:

Talk it Out

conversation hands

It can also really help to talk to people if you struggle with a perfectionist mindset. Getting reassurance and getting some support can really do wonders when it comes to never being satisfied with what you do. Sometimes we really need a professional or someone to take us out of our brains to show us our habits, and help us see the bigger picture when we fall into those pits of perfectionism.

When we are always striving to always be our best without accepting the flaws and mess-ups that need to happen along the way for us to really grow, it’s just a recipe for disaster.

Because it’s impossible with anything in life to be “perfect” or to have the “good” without some of the “bad”.

So let us know in the comments below, what’s one tip you use to deal with perfectionism?



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