5 Ways To Ease Unhealthy Perfectionism

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5 Ways To Ease Unhealthy Perfectionism

According to Wikipedia, perfectionism is "...a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high-performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations."

If there was a book on the art of being perfect, would you buy it?

It seems this is an age of striving perfectionists; the need to be validated or accepted without judgment is driving people to exhaustion. This is having a sweeping impact on mental health, and in particular on younger generations, which raises concerns on this growing issue.

RELATED: How To Support Loved Ones Struggling With Perfectionism & Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are no longer seen as a taboo topic, but very much mainstream and often connected to when you feel as though you're not meeting your own obsessive standards.

It seems that the increase in social media platforms contributes to the younger generations' need for perfection. Social media often distorts the realities of people’s lives that many onlookers feel they have to live up to.

The pressure to have the perfect body is heavily pushed through mainstream media, which has been happening for decades.

Do you have perfectionist behaviors?

Unhealthy perfectionism is often disguised in more prominent behaviors, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and low self-esteem. On a deeper level, there's a fear of being judged, rejected, or a need to be in control for fear of powerlessness.

Unconsciously, there is a pressing need to feel worthy and validated by others. The thought of being rejected can be a nightmare for a person who bears such low self-belief.

If this sounds familiar, do you recognize where you can be kinder to yourself?

Integrating a little more kindness can help you to change your habits and behaviors, bringing relief to you and those who may be affected, too.

Conscious change must be applied frequently in order to make an impact at a deeper level.

Whilst some people may be in the bracket of benefitting from professional support, most of us can ease the pain and relief of this unconscious strain by changing behaviors and reorganizing habits.

Here are 5 ways to ease unhealthy perfectionism.

1. Let go of people’s opinions

There is no scientific formula for being perfect, because each person perceives their model of the world in individual ways.

You're unique due to your own personal esteem, perceptions, truths, beliefs, and values. It’s impossible to satisfy every person’s opinion of you because of the individual filter you have.

However, you can program yourself to be less judgemental as you improve your inner world. The more goodness you see in yourself, the more goodness you'll see in others.

RELATED: The Dark Side Of Your Perfectionism Revealed

2. Dig deeper.

If you find yourself getting tangled up in destructive patterns of behavior, ask yourself these questions:

“What’s the worst that can happen if someone judges me?”

“What’s the worst possible outcome if I don’t achieve XYZ?”

“What’s the worst that will happen if I don’t wear makeup today?”

When you explore the deeper root cause of your behavior, you'll likely find that everything is OK. You’re not going to disappear or cease to exist!

Really, it’s no one else’s business what you decide is best for you at the time.

3. Love yourself as you are.

Likely, you've heard this many times: It's important that you enhance yourself within to change yourself on the outside.

When you practice daily positive self-talk, you will shift your reality in miraculous ways, and people will be different toward you.

4. Trust in yourself.

Trust and self-belief is a powerful attitude if you can learn to trust your decisions and have faith in others.

When you trust, you let go of needing to control. Everything is always OK, no matter what the outcome of something is because you learn to problem solve in situations as they come up.

You can use the above questions to guide you along with the art of living with more trust in your own decisions and tuning into your emotional compass.

5. Uplift your mind.

Being kind to others and operating from your heart is one of the most powerful ways to boost your self-esteem. If you can improve this by 1 percent a week, you'll notice a difference in mood and mindset.

When you do altruistic things for other people, it opens up your heart and allows more good feelings to come in. The better you feel, the less you will feel the need to strive for validation and acceptance from others.

In most cases, you'll be setting a wonderful example to others, too. No one can deny that doing a good deed brings improved inner equilibrium and a happier mindset.

RELATED: 3 Good Reasons Why You Need To Stop Trying To Be Perfect (And Focus On Something More Attainable)

Caroline Rushforth is a certified NLP coach and life coach with over 10 years' experience helping women who are overwhelmed with worry, negative thoughts, and low self-esteem. She offers a free 30-minute consultation via Zoom or Skype. Send her an email for more information about how she can help you.

This article was originally published at Caroline Rushforth. Reprinted with permission from the author.