This year, I took my self-discovery journey more seriously and I discovered a lot about myself. I normally analyze myself and my actions regularly but this time I focused on my personality and traits so that I can learn to manage them. One of the things that I discovered, was that I had perfectionist traits. In the past week, I realized that there are things that I do to manage this trait so that it does not lead me to anxiety or even losing my sense of happiness. I decided to share these tips with you on how I have survive being a perfectionist in an imperfect world.
- Allowing yourself to be imperfect.
This is not as obvious as you imagine. You need to allow yourself to be imperfect. I shared this with a friend, and he mentioned that people should strive for perfection in life. I had to explain to him that they are some people who naturally already do that, and it leads to mental stress. Telling myself that I am allowed to be imperfect as long as I put in my best effort at that moment helps me survive. There are so many reports, blogs and even videos that I have made that I never would have shared/submitted if I did not let myself be imperfect.
I could focus on so many tiny details that someone might never notice, and it just will never be perfect in my eyes. The truth is, everything can always be improved upon, so let it go even when you feel it’s not ready. Say these words: ‘This doesn’t have to be perfect as long as I have put in my best effort’. Then set it free.
- Remember that God loves you as you are.
What you see as imperfections are what He sees as a masterpiece. He crafted you and molded you into this person and He never makes mistakes. Listen to ‘As I am’ by Hillsong Worship. It is a good reminder of God’s love for us just as we are.
- Not by your power, not by might but by the grace of God.
When you surrender it all to God, you can trust him to perfect your imperfections. He will make that work that you feel is incomplete to make a huge impact beyond your imagination. After all our effort, it is the Lord that gives the increase. Everything will definitely be okay, if He cares for the flowers of the earth and birds of the air, He surely cares about you no matter how trivial you feel your matter is. God takes up the perfection burden and as He is perfect, you no longer have to worry about perfection when He is there.
- Focus on things that you can control.
I learnt this lesson last year and it has stuck with me ever since. There are many things in life that we can’t control: the weather, people’s reactions and the past but what we can control are our responses to situations, how much we exercise and many other things. In situations of frustration, when it feels like things are not going according to , or you feel like your work is not up to your standards, focus on things that are within your control. This is something that I have to keep reminding myself in similar situations to these and it has really helped me maintain a more positive attitude and feel like everything is under control.
This is a wonderful tool that I have been utilizing since the age of 10, as consistent as I could. It has really helped me understand my thought process and declutter my mind. It also helps me remember to be kind to myself and see myself from an external lens. It’s so funny how hard I can be on myself and if my friend does a similar thing, I would tell her not to worry and give positive advice but would not be so lenient on myself if I did the same thing. Journaling helps me be that friend to myself and I am thankful for that.
- Have a checklist
Sometimes it feels like things are out of control. You cannot focus, don’t trust your abilities and just never start the project. Relax, breathe, and take pen to paper. Document all you would like to achieve in this project and execute them one by one. I always feel a satisfaction of accomplishing these smaller goals and it really takes the pressure off. When you start project earlier and break them into smaller daily goals on the checklist, it is less stressful and you can focus on one small area at a time.
- Share your ideas with a friend
When I have a blog post or video that I want to upload and it just doesn’t meet my standards, I share it with some friends and hear their feedback. I ask different people to gain diverse insight and perspective. It really helps take the pressure off and helps me achieve a satisfaction with my work. The new insight and perspective help you to look at your project in a new way.
- Positive Declarations
Write out what you like about yourself and you would like to see in yourself and keep saying this every day and when you feel like you are not good enough. Tell yourself: I am beautiful, no one can do this like me, I am brilliant and amazing, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me….
You feel better and energized to accomplish anything. Be kind to yourself, you have accomplished far more than you imagine, and your story is yours alone. As normal as you feel, your unique perspective brings a lot to the table and inspires others.
- Celebrate yourself
This is a hard thing to do as you may feel like you can always do better than what you just achieved. Take time to live in that moment and tell yourself that you have done well when you achieve your goals. Don’t go on to the next thing yet or find flaws in what was done. Take some time no matter how small to write it in your journal and celebrate yourself. You deserve it and even if you feel like it could have be done better, that’s okay. You are amazing and no goal is too small to celebrate. Life is too short, remember to love yourself.
- Read this letter
In this world, you will feel like your work isn’t good enough, that you are not good enough, that you don’t deserve to be in the space where you are or like something could always be better.
I am here to tell you that your work is good enough because it was done by you. You deserve to be here because no one can do what you do like you. You are amazing and a rare work of art.
Cast all your worries and cares to God, He really will take care of you. If He cares about the flowers of the earth and the birds of the air, He will definitely care for you. (Matt. 6: 25 – 33)
Nothing may meet your expectation but that is okay because you can give that burden to the perfect God. Do your best and let God do the rest. Enjoy every moment because you deserve to be happy.
A surviving perfectionist