Secretly a Perfectionist? Learn How to Manage It. Here’s Why Young People Should Make Mistakes

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Many people see themselves as perfectionists, especially when they feel they have ‘symptoms’ such as All-or-Nothing Mindset, It can be tricky. 

Perfectionism is like a double-edged sword. At times it drives your motivation; other times, it can cause your anxiety. The extreme form of perfectionism could go people to the extent of fear of making a wrong move.

Trying to make something too perfect can make you feel stressed, anxious, and even lose your self-value. As Alice Boyes once stated, “if you genuinely want to be a high achiever, you’re bound to do some things imperfectly.”

Therefore, it is worth considering lowering those standards to ease the stress and anxiety. The solution to perfectionism lies in self-awareness. Here are some ideas and tricks for you to manage your perfectionism. 

Acknowledge your feelings

Acknowledging your feelings is a significant step to take. You need to observe yourself and look at the deep side within you while asking this question, “do I have this problem?”, “Have people told me that my standards are too high?” and “do I feel frustrated and depressed when I cannot reach my standards? “. There’s nothing wrong with having a high standard. However, when your standards are too high, they can become your nightmare.

Zoom out

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Always consider the opportunity cost and time. Ask yourself, “Do I use my time wisely? Am I being productive?”. An example that you can do to see yourself in a bigger picture is making presentations. Instead of focusing on how perfect your presentation looks, why do you not focus on how your presentation can impact people who see your presentation? Don’t overthink about what would be their reaction. People won’t remember how it looks, but what they learned from it.

Start to fix your standards

After you identify your type of perfectionism and see yourself in a bigger picture, now it’s time for you to adjust your standards. If you are scared of making mistakes during a presentation, try asking yourself what level of imperfection you are willing to tolerate? 

With this question, you can try to come up with more reasonable standards. If you set your standards with 5 hours of work for your project in the past, try to reduce the time. If you are comfortable with these new standards, start to lower your standards once more. Also, you can set your standards on making 2 or 3 mistakes during a presentation. With this technique, you can press your level of stress and give you some space to breathe. Indeed, it takes some time, but worth it to try.

Be mindful of your self-talk

One of the biggest obstacles is your self-talk. Why? Because your brain doesn’t know how to say “no.” When you tell yourself that something isn’t good enough, your brain will agree with you. But when you say the opposite, the brain will again concur with you. 

So next time, before you jump to any conclusion, observe your thoughts. You’d be surprised how long a positive view goes!

Wrap up

Remember! It’s okay not to be perfect. Because at the end of the day, imperfections are what make us human. As leaders, we encourage action, and taking action comes with a necessary side effect of making mistakes. We can choose to see mistakes as the first stepping stone towards greatness and fulfillment of our potential.


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