Over the last couple days I have been in practice of letting go of perfection. I can be a “Type A” personality and this has helped me to get stuff done when it comes to accomplishing my past accolades. But I get so tired of the mental tangles of using my perfectionist train of thought and focus.
I have been researching tangible ways to let go of my perfectionism. Most of what I found were books and articles with tips and theory on how to let go of perfectionism, these resources did not offer very precise action-based steps to practice the theory or tips being endorsed. The standard tips in most guides include “decide you are worthy”, or “learn to be comfortable with just ok”. To this advice I say ok, great; but how?
I want to know what actions I can do to meet the suggestions supplied throughout the many perfectionism resources. Here are solid actions for banishing your perfectionism. This is coming from the perspective that change does not happen overnight and how to one step at a time find gracious change.
- Write down your top perfectionist pet peeve (cover one pet peeve at a time).
- Look at your perfectionist peeve for a general theme, specific themes and the origin.
(Ex. Pet Peeve: My children are unruly in public
Theme: expectation of what children should behave like in public, how others may view and judge my children, or my parenting
Origin: The way I was raised to be seen not heard in public.)
- Analyze this pet peeve. Ask some key questions, what is consistent with other kids in my children’s age brackets. What is developmentally appropriate for my children in regard to their temperament, personality and gender?
- Consider what you really want, what do you need? What is the big picture goal of the perfectionist pet peeve?
- Determine if your perfectionist pet peeve is worth continuing to improve or wasteful of your ongoing energy?
- If the answer is to continue improvement on your perfectionist pet peeve, break down small actions and educational opportunities to gently and kindly continue your work.
To demonstrate I will continue use of my example mentioned above,
(Ex. parenting my children to be considerate of others in social settings
Small Action 1: Talk to my children regularly about what consideration looks and feels like.
Small Action 2: Research how to teach my children to become socially aware and consider what to keep and practice and what to return to sender.
Small Action 3: Find support, join a parenting group, connect with other parents you respect and admire to determine more examples of raising socially aware children.
Small Action 4: Pace yourself as you embark on change and be kind in the process and acknowledge the work as hard and successful only with practice.
Best wishes on the journey.
Other recommended resources: