Perfectionism is something so many of us struggle with.
We constantly berate ourselves for not doing better, for not being better, and often we are focused solely on our improvement.
The thing about perfection that makes it dangerous is that it is unattainable. You can always do better, be better. You can have a better house, better car, better job, better body...
So why did Voltaire say perfect is the enemy of good. Because in the search for perfection we can forget to live our lives. We can forget to be present, be who we want to be in our relationships, and care for ourselves.
So how do you combat these habits of perfectionism? What is the opposite of perfectionism?
If you suffer from perfectionism, self-criticism, and the painful experience of never being good enough, take a moment to pause and:
1. Offer yourself some kindness
This doesn't mean that you need to go indulge in a box of cookies or feel sorry for yourself. Instead it means opening up and acknowledging how hard your day was, or how hard you work. Self-kindness is about treating yourself the way you would treat a dear friend.
2. Take a moment to be mindful
Mindfulness isn't all about meditating, though that is a helpful way to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment with curiosity in a non judgmental way. So take a moment to notice the room that you are in, or to really hug your child and smell her hair, or pet your cat or dog and notice how that feels. Take a moment to notice what is going on around you and to breathe.
3. Connect with others
Remember that you are not alone in your suffering. So often we think that we are the only ones who aren't perfect. Striving to be better and do better is part of our human condition. Connect with the fact that there are others going through this same experience as you and that you are not alone with the pain and suffering of it. After all there wouldn't be countless posts and articles about perfectionism and not feeling good enough, if other people weren't having similar experiences around perfectionism.
4. Sign up for the Self Compassion Group!
Come learn how to practice more kindness and stop being so hard on yourself. You can learn alongside other people who have had similar experiences as you. You will feel supported and not so alone and you will learn how to live a more content, meaningful, and fulfilling life. Sign up soon! This 10 week group starts September 22.
Written by Monti Pal, LPC
About Our Blog
Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.