Overcoming Perfection Paralysis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 18, 2019

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Submitted: April 18, 2019



  In many areas of life, perfectionism is beneficial. However, having started as a perfectionist, you end up never happy with your results. Life forces you to act under different, challenging conditions which don’t guarantee you the desired outcome every time.

This is called perfection paralysis, because you feel stuck and unproductive having set an unrealistic standard and no longer being encouraged by your current level of performance. With time, you are unable to keep up with the standard. Your ambition to eliminate all flaw drains all the energy away. You become busy trying to make every single move picture-perfect, instead of aiming to accomplish as much as possible in a shorter period of time.

So, how do you conquer perfection paralysis?

1. Focus on the positive side of your performance FIRST! Do this by making lists of all the good things about yourself. Try to name at least 10 things and really look into the details of what you usually take for granted, such as: your overall presentation, your strong beginnings and your ability to capture the audience’s attention.

2. Find out what you’re most critical about, focusing on the ONE factor that causes you most distress. Example: you may love the content of your public speeches, but criticize your facial expressions.

3. Think whether that factor is rational or irrational. View it through a critical lens - can it be eliminated, or is it subjective/harmless? An example of a rational complex would be your expressions damaging the quality of your performance.

4. If you decide your complex is rational, do something habitually that contributes to eliminating the most crucial reason for your dissatisfaction with your performance. For example, practice speaking in front of the mirror while controlling your mimics and grasping full awareness of them. Time’s too precious, so don’t delay doing what you’ve always wanted!

5. Realize that is is the challenges which expand our horizons. Overcoming a difficult task results in strengthening your weak sides and room for improvement.

Remember: “The only way out is through.”

© Copyright 2019 Alexandra Layne. All rights reserved.

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