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5 Steps To Defeat Perfectionism Once and For All

Brené Brown calls perfectionism ‘the 20-ton shield.’ We carry it around, thinking it’s going to protect us from being hurt. But it stops us from being seen.

But, in reality, perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

We all have moments where we fall into perfectionism. For some of us, this might happen kind of often. For others, it’s reserved for those special occasions where we have a project where we can’t rest until we get it right.

While occasional super-attention-to-detail is okay, it’s when we make perfectionism a way of life where it becomes a problem. Those are the times where we finally need to take charge of our lives and learn how to let go.

The problem here is that people say to themselves “I’m a fraud.” They have this imposter syndrome idea that they’re not qualified enough to do the things they’re doing. But that’s not true.

Just look at the people in the world that are succeeding and doing amazing things like Elon Musk.

He doesn’t have an education to match the wealth and success he’s enjoying now. He does great things, but does he go out and get credentials and try to get some sort of certification so he can wear that badge and have that certification beside his name.

Does it really support him or not?  

Because honestly, people make decisions based on how much they know, like and trust you. That’s what matters. People base their decisions on how much they like you and your character, not what you know. 

Try this:

Start at the Core

Why are you so wrapped up in perfectionism? Are you truly trying to become a better person somehow, or are you just trying to impress someone else or meet expectations from those around you? Neither of these reasons is very healthy, and both need to be addressed.

Drop the “Should”

The moment you start using this word in a conversation, especially regarding your action, you’re already driving yourself crazy. Remind yourself you don’t need validation from anyone. You’re good just by being you.

Rewrite the Script

What are you telling yourself as you throw yourself into perfectionism? Do you think this is the path to success? Or do you have other unrealistic expectations of the outcome? Here’s where you switch up your self-talk to get out of any negative spaces and unrealistic outcomes.

Drop the Comparisons

Speaking of self-talk, just who are you holding up as role models? Has this too become unhealthy, going from “I want to be more like them” to “Why can’t I have everything they do?” Wouldn’t it feel better to celebrate where you are right now and all the effort you’ve been putting into things?

Show Some Mercy

Perfection never allows for excuses. If you can’t succeed, you’re automatically a failure. By chasing imperfection, you learn the value of self-forgiveness and the ability to let go of your mistakes in favor of embracing the lessons you can learn from them.

Advanced framework to release our perfectionism…

Ask Effective Questions

Questions help us put down those 20-ton shields and everything they’re defending. We have to narrow the gap in knowledge and invite collaboration and sharing — rather than withdrawal and shame.

Remember Your Successes

Recall and record our past successes and accomplishments to build ourselves up. Your mind can only respond to the information and resources you give it. If you fill your head with positive affirmations and evidence of your capability and success, you will overcome feeling like an imposter and take action.

Take Fast Action

Take action even if it feels uncomfortable. You’ve probably heard the saying, Eat the big frog first. That means you do the most uncomfortable thing first. You take the heat and do it anyway. Courage and confidence only comes when we have competence.

 If everything we did was right, how would we know what we’re doing wrong.

You wouldn’t think these steps are all so very important at first glance. After all, is chasing imperfection worthwhile?

The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Perfection is what pulls us away from others and gets us so tangled up inside with worry and stress about getting things right; we negatively impact our mental and physical health.

With this in mind, isn’t it time to let go and enjoy life once and for all?

You’ve got this,

Dan LeFave

Easy Action Step

Be a Better Parent


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