Kimberly Townsend, standing with her arms crossed in a red top.

How to Deal with Perfectionism

As summer comes to an end, many of us enter into a busy season – whether you’re resuming work, or have children who are starting extracurricular activities – our plates get full. This season can feel overwhelming for a lot of people, but especially for perfectionists. I’ve shared with you my struggle with perfectionism in a previous blog post (more about that here), but today I want to share a few tips for my fellow perfectionists who may be entering a busy season.

  1. Take time to self-reflect.Do you want the best for every task you complete at work? For every piece of décor in your home? There’s nothing wrong with that – I have always been someone who wants the best in everything. Next question – does this interfere with your ability to delegate? Are you more likely to take on tasks at work, so mistakes aren’t made? Or maybe more likely to offer to take the kids to all the activities so you can be sure they arrive prepared and on time? These are all great questions to ponder.
  2. Acknowledge that perfection is illusory.I have bad news for you – you’re never going to reach perfection in any aspect of life. It’s an unrealistic standard for you to hold yourself, and others, to. The good news? Once we accept this, then there’s less pressure to strive for absolute perfection.
  3. Release the fear of imperfection.We gain something else when we accept that perfection isn’t possible: We can start to eliminate the fear of imperfection. Give it your best? Absolutely. Make it perfect? Not possible. Phew.
  4. Tolerate acceptable levels of imperfection (a.k.a. humanity) in yourself and others. When I realized that every decision in my life didn’t need to come down to perfection or failure, a weight was lifted. When I extended that realization of acceptance of imperfection to others in my life, I felt relief.

If you are intentional about these tips, you are sure to see a difference in your life, especially during busy seasons – whether that season comes after the summer, or in another time. My decision-making skills improved significantly because I didn’t feel the fear of imperfection. When I acknowledged perfection wasn’t possible and became accepting of humanity as we are, I felt empowered – not scared – to delegate tasks. As a result, I was no longer relying on myself for everything and what a difference that can make in your overall well-being (more about balance and well-being in this post). It won’t happen overnight, but if you stick with it, you’ll find a weight lifted – trust me, I did.