Something I’ve struggled with on and off throughout my life is perfectionism. With as much as I hear people talk about perfectionism I’m sure many of you have struggled with it too.
Today is also World Mental Health Day. Though perfectionism itself is not a mental illness, it can be a part of things like anxiety, OCD, and depression. Perfectionism can also lead to high levels of stress which in turn can lead to anxiety and depression.
Recently at work my boss mentioned a concept called the 3 P’s. Perfectionism which leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis. Oh my gosh I felt like she was taking directly to me. I think a big reason I’ve struggled with blogging and not always been as consistent as I would like is because of the 3 P’s!
Perfectionism can cause us to feel so stuck. I’ve always been a notorious procrastinator. I think the only reason I didn’t ever get to the paralysis part when I was in school is because I always had a deadline. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned I’m really not good at holding myself accountable, especially when my perfectionism comes to play.
So what do you do if perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis is happening?
What would you say to your friend?
We tend to be so much more critical of ourselves than anyone else. If you find yourself having perfectionistic tendencies about something ask yourself what you would think if it was a friends work. Or what would you think if you heard your friend saying negative self talk to herself?
We can be really mean to ourselves. We say things to ourselves we would never say to someone else and we hold ourselves to such unrealistic stanards, at least those of us who are perfectionists.
Make a list
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by tasks, and get critical of myself because I don’t know what I should be doing or where to start. Just creating a list of tasks or steps for a project can alleviate some of this. Plus you can cross stuff off which is always satisfying. 🙂
Just one small step
Sometimes you just need momentum. You know the whole physics idea of objects in motion stay in motion? It can be the same with procrastination. Do one thing. Big, small, whatever, just do something! Getting started can be the hardest part! Take that list you made and pick a task to get started with. Once you start its so much easier to keep going.
Hopefully these tips help if you become overwhelmed by perfectionism.
Remember: be nice to yourself, take care of yourself, and just start!