Inside My Struggle With Perfectionism

How to Overcome Perfectionism

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a perfectionist. I’ve battled with feelings of “not good enough, you can do better” in every area of my life at some point; but at the moment creative perfectionism is my main struggle. I fixate on every detail of every post or Instagram update, and constantly feel like I should have done a better job.

Does this thought process sound familiar?

I debated whether or not to publish this post, because I still don’t know how to overcome perfectionism (and the perfectionist in me would like to have the answer). However, when I feel myself sinking into negative thought patterns I turn to the following three quotes, which help bring me back to reality. Hopefully they will tame your perfectionist gene too…

TINA FEY: THE SHOW MUST GO ON

‘The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. This is something Lorne [Michaels] has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing.’

‘You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go… You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute… It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated.’ [source]

HILLARY CLINTON: AIM FOR GOOD ENOUGH

‘I think this “perfectionist gene” that too many young women have holds them back, and instead they should be really aiming for “good enough.” You don’t have to be perfect. Most men never think like that. They’re just trying to figure out what’s the opening and how they can seize it. They’re not thinking about, Oh my gosh, I’m not perfect, my hair’s not perfect today, I wore the wrong shoes. No.’ [source]

BRENE BROWN: PERFECTIONISM HAMPERS SUCCESS

‘Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis… Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”’ [source]

Are you also a perfectionist? How do you manage your “perfectionist gene”?

P.S. The key life lessons I learnt in my early twenties

{Image: Block heels from Free People}

  • Simi Atanda Lindgren

    I’m a huge perfectionist also, I think it becomes a problem when you cannot recognise your achievements x
    http://www.whiitelist.com

  • liz

    love those shoes

    http://hashtagliz.com

  • Well you got your outfit pretty perfect xx

  • Totally know how you feel. You should be really proud of yourself, your blog is an inspiration and your instagram is absolutely perfect! xx

    • cocos_tea_party

      Thank you. That is such a lovely comment, and has totally made my morning!

  • I am a perfectionist on work projects and have many a times been the girl working overtime, laboring over getting something ‘just right’. One of my resolutions this year has been to ease up on that a bit, because going way overboard to perfect details most won’t notice is important on some things…but not everything. Trying to work on balance! 🙂

    xoxo – Kelly
    http://www.dreaminlace.com

    • cocos_tea_party

      Totally agree Kelly. It’s definitely about finding a balance!

  • cocos_tea_party

    Yes, sometimes a step back from social media is so necessary. It’s funny, because we all know not to compare ourselves to others, but social media makes it so easy that we fall into that trap again and again.

  • I will never ever leatn how to overcome my perfectionism. That’s why I designated my boyfriend (and at work – one of my collegues) to tell me when to stop. I may be still upset and complain my project is only half done, but listen to them, because they know better than I do when I start overreacting 🙂

    • cocos_tea_party

      That’s a good idea to have someone there as a perfectionist coach, almost.