“Break the Self-Sabotaging Habit of Perfectionism”
by Linda-Ann Stewart
I remember watching a television program where a modern working mother tried to keep her house as clean as her mother had. She spent her weekends nagging her husband and kids to wash and fold the laundry, dust, etc., while she scrubbed the refrigerator, kitchen, and house from top to bottom. The weekends were stressful times, and her family life suffered. Everyone was miserable as she put a clean house ahead of her relationship with them. She was unsuccessfully trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal of a perfect house.
Perfectionism is a waste of time and energy. When it becomes the focus of your life, it affects every part of it. Relationships suffer, as does your health. The stress and pressure you put on yourself can contribute to all sorts of health problems, such as high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, arteriosclerosis and much more. Think of all the health problems associated with a Type-A personality and that is what you risk when you attempt to live up to idealistic expectations.
That stress isn’t coming from others, it’s coming from within you. It’s been said that stress isn’t so much from the events in your life, as it is from your reactions to them. Perfectionism means you’re trying to reach for an unattainable goal, and by doing so, you’re destined to be disappointed, unhappy, and dissatisfied.
Striving for perfection can distract you from what you truly want in life: abundance, harmony, health, relationships, and so on. By focusing so much on details you forget to look at the whole picture of what you want.
Here are some steps to help you break this self-sabotaging habit:
- Take one item of your life and don’t do it. Leave dishes in the sink for a few hours. Wait for a day to fold the sheets and towels. This is to help you to get more comfortable with letting some things go and attending to more important things, like relationships.
- Focus on what’s right in your life, rather than what’s wrong or needs to be fixed. Many people are trying to gain approval or control their environment by being perfect. This creates the internal tension that you feel as stress. Life is a process and imperfect, and by changing your focus, you’ll relieve some of your pressure.
- Finish a project, rather than trying to get it perfect. Many people avoid completion to avoid criticism. Get it done as quickly as you can. Do it with what you already have. Do it even if you don’t feel prepared to finish it. Successful people tend to jump into a project without having all the information or knowing where it’s going.
- Leave some clutter on your desk. Contrary to popular belief, some mess actually improves creativity. And people who make more money are less likely to consider themselves to be “neat freaks.”
Your coworkers and friends aren’t turning themselves into sleepless wonders to get things done. They let some things slide to have a higher quality of life. Which do you want more of in your life, stress and a constant search to make things perfect, or success, abundance, ease, health and harmony? The choice is up to you.
Being perfect is an unattainable ideal, and one that blocks my enjoyment of life. I now give myself permission to let some things slide. The only person who will notice is me, and I am being kind to myself. I ease up on life, and now choose success, happiness, harmony, and health.
Copyright 2010 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
A nationally known hypnotherapist, writer, speaker and coach, Linda-Ann Stewart helps people rediscover their power and sense of self-worth. Visit Secrets To The Law Of Attraction to download your copy of this free ebook.
self improvement, self help, personal growth, personal development