5 Tips To Be Crazy Perfect | Free Yourself From Perfectionism
So, in no way am I saying that I’m crazy perfect, but I want to talk a little about perfectionism today. I know I tend to throw the term “perfect” around loosely. Here on Artsy Cupcake, I try to help you perfect the art of life, home, health and style. I know this topic of perfection is something that’s on a lot of our minds. But is striving for true perfection a good or a bad thing? Do you find yourself getting upset if things don’t go as perfect as you planned? Keep reading to find out my tips to approach perfection in a healthy way.
I did create a video version of this post, if you would rather watch than read.
1 // Create your own definition of perfection
So, what is the true textbook definition of perfection?
It’s hard to see reality as truth, when there are perfect looking photos on social media and advertisements with photoshopped images, all making us believe everything really is that perfect. If we alter our thoughts to accept these images are not the truth, we can alter our own ideas of perfection.
So, lets look at that definition of perfection again and create our own. if we want to loosen up the definition, what can we do here?
Well, If we just take off everything after something we have the much more achievable definition of “the action or process of improving something.”
This leaves the definition more open, so you can interpret “improving” in any way you want for the particular task at hand. Now that we have a new definition of perfection set in our minds let’s move on to the next tip.
2 // Your personal best is different from my personal best
Seeing what appears perfect in social media or advertisements is one thing, but what about comparing yourself to other people – your friends or your family or even acquaintences? I don’t know if it’s a built in human survival technique, or what, but comparing yourself to others seems to be part of our human nature. The problem is that if you compare yourself to everyone else and try to have the same goals or achievements as them, it can sometimes drive you crazy. You can enjoy life much more if you worry less about what everyone else is doing. It’s great to get tips or aspire to things based on what you have seen others do around you. But if you don’t do everything exactly the same, it doesn’t mean you didn’t do it right, it just means you did it differently and possibly better. Compare yourself to yourself. Make sure to not judge your own abilities by comparison, but judge yourself based on your own unique goals and accomplishments.
3 // Strive for excellence over perfection
This basically means have high standards set for yourself, but dont set them to be unachievable or unreachable. Perfectionists tend to have unrealistically demanding goals. High standards are good and can help you achieve goals and do lots of things that you’re proud of. But aiming for perfection is another thing. This is a problem because perfect does not exist. You can use the word perfect, but the definition should be understood as that of excellence or making something the best it can be. That something can be yourself or a goal of some sort, but perfect will always be defined in your mind as the best it can possibly be in a realistic way. This pursuit of excellence should always be there driving us to be better, work harder and make ourselves proud of our actions every day. If you strive for excellence then you won’t get upset at yourself for failing at the impossible. Always congratulate yourself on doing your very best and knowing that you strived for excellence.
4 // Don’t get caught up in the details
Sometimes perfectionists are so laser focused on getting some detail right, it’s easy to miss the bigger picture. They say that there are two types of people – the ‘big picture people’ and the ‘details people.’ Big picture people tend to be the creatives, strategic and visionary types, but they can also be messy, disorganized, and forgetful. The details people are conscientious, planful, and exacting – this sounds a lot like perfectionists, doesn’t it?
The downfalls of these detail focused people are that they can lack perspective or fail to prioritize. So, knowing these are the negatives of being a perfectionist is a step towards progress. Let’s look at this lacking perspective or failing to prioritize quality.
So, you might highlight a book to call out important notes but you end up highlighting pretty much everything. You also may have a tendency to over-think things. Both of these actions are wasting time because you have to go through your notes again, finding out what are the actual important points that stand out. And you may waste time overthinking something instead of getting right to the decision. Taking note of when you’re making everything equally important or when you are overthinking can help you stop in your tracks and make yourself come to a faster decision or get more organized going about doing something. Getting better at prioritizing can help you improve your big thinking skills. Focusing on the details is a great skill to have and something you should be proud that you’re good at. But adding in some of these big thinking skills can really round you out and make sure you are not getting caught up in the details.
5 // Be the right kind of perfectionist
The two different types of perfectionists set high standards and go after lofty goals. They both work hard to get what they want, and they both care a lot about doing a good job. But there is one small difference. Positive perfectionists are achievement oriented and negative perfectionists are failure oriented.
The positive perfectionist is process-oriented instead of outcome-oriented. Focusing on the process of the task at hand rather than the outcome means goals typically are performance-based rather than achievement based.
For a perfectionistic individual, self-worth depends upon achievement. And if that achievement goal is perfection, which is impossible to achieve, you will likely perceive yourself as worthless or a failure due to not achieving perfection. That is why a process-oriented outcome is better than outcome-oriented because the effort to try is what matters most in the end, rather than whether the goal was achieved.
As an example, a negative perfectionist trying to lose weight may think "I gained weight this week. I can't do this because I'm weak and lazy" where the positive perfectionist would think "I gained weight this week. I gave it a good effort and I need to figure out how to improve".
So, for those perfectionists out there, always make your goals process oriented rather than goal oriented. And look at the performance rather than the achievements. You can remind yourself to be a positive perfectionist with the repetition of P’s here.
Ok, now you have all 5 tips and you can go on to be the perfect perfectionist. No I’m just kidding – just don’t take yourself too seriously and I hope I helped some fellow perfectionists out there.