Perfectionism

If you’re a hard-charging workaholic like I am, you too might be struggling with perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionism stems from anxiety about being accepted, loved, and “good enough.” I’ve been working on this challenge my whole life, and here are some tips I’ve found:

  • Consciously talk kindly and positively to yourself when you accomplish the smallest things. Don’t forget to give yourself praise regularly, because that keeps you motivated and thinking in a positive light about yourself and what your achievements mean to you. Make time to read and watch positive and motivational materials as well to reinforce the kind and compassionate thoughts you want to have. Give yourself credit for trying so hard all the time. You really deserve it!
  • Make sure you schedule breaks, sleep, and times to eat all three meals each day.

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  • Make sure you pamper yourself for a regular set period of time (example: Pamper Day once a week). Making a conscious display to yourself that you will hold and take care of yourself everyday helps to curb anxiety and depression. Your body wants to feel held, just as it did when you were a baby. Self-care and hygiene are perfect ways to affirm this to yourself regularly.
  • Journal and reflect on your goals, tasks and objectives often.
  • Use your planner religiously to lower your general stress levels.
  • Spend time with other people you trust and ask them for their opinions of how you come across to them. This can really help if you’ve been beating down on yourself a lot lately for being grumbly or imperfect or unproductive or sad.
  • Allow your emotions – whether they are positive or negative or neutral. Allowing yourself to feel what you really feel instead of shaming yourself for feeling negative can help you address the issues that are really lying under the surface. Negative feelings (sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt) are your body’s way of telling you that you are lacking something for your health and well being. It can be a motivating force for making the necessary changes to your life that will help you feel better.
  • Stop “shoulding yourself.” I’ll discuss this more at length in another post soon. Basically, what I mean by this tip is, stop telling yourself that you “should” feel a certain way or that you “should” do something. This is basically like mental bitch-slapping, and it’s another way of shaming yourself for not having positive emotions ALL THE TIME (see previous tip on allowing).

I hope these tips encourage you to embrace your perfectionist self and make you feel loved and held! These are the true secrets to sustaining yourself and your ability to continue to make notable accomplishments in the long term.

Hannah Stringfellow is a freelance blogger and world traveler. She holds an M.S., Chemistry, from the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include women’s empowerment, health and wellness, and cross-cultural competency.

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