10 Ways to Rebel Against Perfectionism

You know perfectionism is getting in the way of you achieving your goals, but what can you actually do about it? Here are my top 10 easy-to-action tips for rebelling against perfectionism:

1. Set a Timer for Yourself

You either spend too long on tasks or procrastinate like crazy. Hold yourself accountable to get things done within a limited period by setting a timer to complete something. When the time’s up mark that task as complete. During the Purpose Project Co-Working Sessions we use Cuckoo Timer to keep time.

2. Share an Unfinished Idea

Have you ever reached a sticking point with something you’ve been working on and spent a long time wondering what to do, but been terrified to ask for help? Instead of wasting time trying to get yourself unstuck, share your unfinished idea and ask for input and ideas from other people. Your idea will be stronger for it and you’ll move things forward faster.

3. Don’t Make a Plan

Plans are a perfectionists best friend. They’re safe, they make you feel in control and they can also become the project if you’re not careful. Ask yourself the question, “What is the least I need to do to achieve this?” and stick to doing just that.

4. Tell Someone How You Actually Feel

Vulnerability is the antidote for perfectionism, so when someone asks you how you are, tell them instead of bottling it up and showing a stiff upper lip. Sharing how you REALLY are doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.

5. Don’t Ask for Feedback

If you usually ask people to check your work, and you seek reassurance about what you’re doing, STOP! Asking for feedback on everything reduces your self-confidence and feeds your inner perfectionist. People will always have opinions but it doesn’t mean they are more valid than your own. Believe in your skills and abilities and know that you are capable of knowing when something is “good enough”.

6. Let Someone Else Take Control

It feels so good to be in control, and yet it’s exhausting to constantly be responsible for everything. Share the decision making responsibility out by asking friends and family to make some of those joint life choices that take up your head space like what to eat for dinner, where to stay on vacation, and how and when to clean the house. At work it could be letting the Intern take on more responsibility for a task.

7. Finish Work on Time Everyday

When you’re trying to make something perfect and you’re focussed on getting that done it can be so easy to say the words “Just 5 more minutes” which inevitably turns into 10, then 15, then 2 hours. Make a commitment to finish work every day and keep it.

8. Say “No” to Something

You are a people pleaser and want to please everyone in your life, so you’ve got used to saying yes to everyone whether it’s your boss asking you to take on more work, or your family asking you to do a quick favour. This leaves you feeling stretched thin and a little resentful. Be bold and say no for once. Start with some small no’s to begin with if you need to work up to the big ones. What’s important is that you learn to stretch your “no” muscle.

9. Say “Yes” to Something

As much as you love to say “yes” to other people, you find yourself saying “no” to a lot of opportunities because you hate doing things you’re not good at or have never done before out of fear of looking silly. The easiest way to rebel is to say yes to something new. A new sport, restaurant, TV series, way of doing things. Say yes and commit whole heartedly.

10. Enjoy Quiet Time

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to enjoy your down time? Without thinking about all the things you could or “should” be doing? It is easy to move from one thing to the next because it makes us feel productive; perfectionisms best friend. Slowing down and giving yourself permission to let go of your responsibilities and just “be” may feel counterintuitive but it will nurture your mind and soul, in turn increasing your creativity and productivity.

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