BYU Radio

How to Deal with Being a Perfectionist

by Alyssa Banks, of the Matt Townsend Show

Perfectionism can seem like a good thing when it comes to making sure everything is completed in a seamless manner. However, it can be a real hindrance with progressing. So, today we’re talking about dealing with perfectionism in a healthy way.

1. Work to understand differing opinions before insisting on doing things your own way. Being a perfectionist relates closely with wanting things to look and feel how you believe they should. Taking time to understand another person’s perspective may help you realize there are other, and sometimes better, ways of doing things.

2. Laugh at the things that ultimately don’t matter. There are tasks you need to worry about and stress over when they don’t work out. The majority of dilemmas, though, are not as vital as you might think they are. In addition, many of the outcomes you don’t love can’t be changed. Figure out why the problem occurred, so you can avoid it in the future, but don’t let it continue to bother you.

3. Find the silver linings. Sometimes it seems like I’m looking at all the outcomes that didn’t end up how I planned. When I step back and think about what worked out, it’s usually a longer list than I care to admit.

4. Embrace the unknown. It seems like there is a common theme with perfectionists. They don’t welcome change. By welcoming change, you’ll find your stress level significantly decreasing as you understand things can turn out differently than planned and still be just as great as you expected them to be.

5. Don’t micromanage people. Like you, each person has a certain way of doing things. If a person’s method doesn’t change the overall outcome of a given goal, it’s okay for them to work their own way to achieve the goal.

6. Force yourself to take criticism as a stepping stone rather than an insult. The Huffington Post published an article about perfectionists that said perfectionists tend to take things too personally and be overly defensive when others hint at criticism. Instead of being offended and hurt when someone criticizes your work, make a goal to follow the criticism and improve on something you've always wished you were better at.

7. Be patient. Change is hard, so don’t get discouraged when you aren’t maximizing this entire list every day of your life.

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