How to recognise perfectionism? Can you see the signs?
- Procrastination – afraid to start something that you think you’ll fail, or you can’t do it perfectly.
- All or nothing thinking
- Goal, Goal, Goal – only focused on end result instead of the journey or learning process.
- Struggling to be proud of your success - even the highest mark, or best effort is never good enough
- Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious often
- Setting very high and unrealistic standards
If you feel like you can relate to one or more of these things you may be dealing with perfectionist thinking. Don't panic, we are here to help! Keep reading to find out how to tackle these thoughts...
Tips to tackle perfectionism?
Practice positive self-talk.
“It’s okay to make mistakes. They help me grow and help me become a better person”
- “I’ve tried my best and that’s all that matters”
- “It’s okay to have an off day. You can’t be on the ball all the time”
Step out from the immediate situation and look at the bigger picture
- Assess the importance of the situation: is it worthwhile to spend so much effort into this?
- Look how you previously survived difficult situations. You can do the same again!
Step into someone else’s shoes
You might have a standard that you do 3hrs of studying a night but feel bad because you only did 1hr. Try to think about the advice that you would give a friend in the same situation. Would you be as hard on them? Or would you comfort them and tell them that its ok to have time off?
We are often much more critical of our own actions, but stepping into someone else's shows allows us separate ourselves from the situation and see it in reality.