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Stop Trying to Be Perfect!

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Does it feel like everything you do isn’t quite ‘good enough?’ Are you driven to make whatever you’re doing ‘even better’ over and over ad nauseum? Do you spend each day in your Polly Perfect knickers but end up getting them in a twist because nothing seems flawless enough?

You’re not alone...

Why seek perfection?

As to the reason why someone seeks perfection in everything? Well, that can be down to a number of scenarios, many of which have their roots in childhood. It may be because the child was told they weren’t good enough, or even that they were praised for doing things very well. Either way, a desire to seek approval may be the cause.

Then again, societal expectations, a belief that everyone else is Instagram Immaculate or Facebook Faultless, can result in a desire to seek acceptance in an unattainable world. But not only is social media perfection unreal, it's simply not healthy.

The problem with trying to be perfect is that it’s a huge waste of time and energy.

There's a huge difference between doing something well and doing it perfectly. Attempting to be perfect can bring on feelings of inadequacy and even interfere with completing important projects. Excellence, on the other hand, is attainable and is always more than good enough.

Eliminate the idea of perfection from your life and you'll see your productivity soar. For example, a poorly written but complete book can still be published. But a perfectly composed book that's only half finished is essentially worthless. Of course, there's a middle ground between poor and perfect. And that terrain includes excellence.

The problem with perfection is that it can never be truly attained.

So, in pursuing perfection, not only are you doomed to fail, but in the end, you might also have nothing to show for your efforts.

Remember the Law of Diminishing Returns

Apply the Law of Diminishing Returns to striving for perfection:

Imagine if you spent 24 hours on a report for work. Would you get an pat on your back from your boss? I would certainly hope so, but what else may have suffered because of it? What about your other work and obligations? Maybe instead you could have done something enjoyable.

The other thing to consider is this: could you have achieved a great result with just two hours of work? Or five? From a practical standpoint, the same results can often be attained with much less time and effort. There is nothing to be gained by spending more time on something than truly needed.

If you spent six hours washing and waxing your car and your neighbor spent two hours on his, do you think anyone could tell the difference a week later? More importantly, what else could you have accomplished with those extra four hours? Life is short, and there's a lot to do. What else could you do with your time besides trying to be perfect?

Pursue Excellence

Of course, you'll want to decide on the level of excellence you wish to attain before getting started on a project. Everything you do should have standards that you strive to attain. If you choose your benchmark of completion properly, there's never a good reason to go beyond that point.

What exactly is excellent, anyway? Interesting question…

Excellent means that the task was completed at a high enough level that there's no cause for concern. You know your work will meet whatever requirements are put upon it. Regardless of the nature of the task, you know that it's done well enough and you have zero concerns about it.

When deciding how well a project really needs to be done, consider the possible outcomes if the task is completed at various levels of quality. Obviously, a surgical instrument requires a much higher level of quality than a spoon.

Stop Being Perfect

Once the proper level has been set, you now have a target, a goal that's been chosen with some thought and intelligence. Now, simply perform the task to that level and stop. Yup, stop right there! That task is completed, and it's time to do something else.

Giving up a habit of pursuing perfection might seem challenging. However, you'll be happier, more productive, and you'll maintain your sanity much more easily by striving for excellence instead. In terms of time, quality, and productivity, excellence always wins in the end.

Stop trying to be perfect and create more time and freedom in your life!

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

Please let me know about the tips and techniques that enhance your life - I'd love to hear from you. And if there's a particular issue or subject that you'd like me to explore in a blog, then drop me a line!

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And there's more...

Want to step out of the Polly Perfect knickers and stop getting them in a twist about perfectionism?

Yup, I know it's great to set high standards for yourself, but when it's causing stress and wasting hours of your time, it's time to change. So, how to overcome perfectionism? Read this book and learn how to use Buddhist psychology of mindfulness to still the 'not good enough' vibe of your mind into self-acceptance and love of 'well it's not perfect but it's brilliant!'

Learn more here - Click on the link below: Present Perfect: A Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism and the Need for Control - Pavel G Somov:

Is your struggle with perfectionism not feeling too chuffing perfect? Is your perfectionism causing you to feel stressed out and totally overwhelmed? Do you need to learn how to silence your inner critic and kick your fear of failure to the kerb? Can you imagine what it feels like to let go of the negative inner-talk, to release the 'paralysis by analysis' of how to make it even more perfect? What if you could say goodbye to perfectionism and hello to feeling inspired and confident in whatever you undertake. Yup, it really is possible. This book will guide you to overcome perfectionism and finally begin to enjoy life. Learn the techniques and tactics in this book and you'll discover why it's possible to live without the fear of disapproval. It's time to embrace the freedom that the joy of imperfection brings! Highly recommended!

Take a look at this - Click on the link below: The Joy Of Imperfection: 18 Simple Steps to Silencing Your Inner Critic, Overcoming Perfectionism, and Embracing Your Imperfect Life! - Damon Zahariades:

Perfectionism is usually a mask covering the belief 'I don't feel that I'm good enough'. Hands up who struggles with self-worth and tries to be perfect so nobody else notices? Well, fu*k that! Because it's time to learn from one of the best therapists on the planet - Marisa Peer. Not only is she an incredible mindset mentor and hypnotherapist, Marisa Peer is the woman behind the 'I Am Enough' lipstick on the mirror reminder that's swept the world like a high-vibe-high-five-self-love revolution. Those three words may be the key to unlocking the self-sabotage that seeking perfection often is. When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You Are Enough, you'll feel so much better about yourself and everything that you do. And those around you will notice too. Read this book a learn how to massively increase your own sense of self-worth so that you feel good about yourself and believe in yourself.

Check this out - Click on the link below: I Am Enough: Mark Your Mirror And Change Your Life - Marisa Peer:

Open to a bit of 'woo-woo' this-works-but-you're-not-quite-sure-how? Then try switchwords! Learn more here in my book: Speak Yourself Happy - Ruthy Baker:

Play this 'Switchwords for Confidence' video in the background and repeat the switchwords - either aloud or in your mind - then observe the inner changes!

To be updated with my latest blogs, books and courses please fill in the contact form - Click on the Menu and then click Contact - I’ll be thrilled to hear from you!

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© Ruthy Baker 2021


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