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Healthy vs. Unhealthy Perfectionism

Perfectionism can be viewed in two different ways:

it can be look like the Type A, detail-oriented and controlling individual who cannot let things go


it can the balance between validation and change.

How do these stack up for you?

Now, if you generally show up as the “Healthy Perfectionist” – WOOHOO! Celebrate that NOW!

If not, let me give you a couple tips on starting to change your unhealthy perfectionism:

  1. Set smaller, realistic goals for yourself. This will reduce the sense of fear and build up your confidence.

  2. Try adopting an attitude of “it’s good enough”. Then, walk away. Notice some of the emotions coming up and remind yourself why you are doing this. Go distract yourself with something else.

  3. I cannot say this enough – CELEBRATE yourself. Give yourself credit instead of focusing on all the things you are not happy with.

  4. Break down your TO DO list into: Need to, Want to and It Doesn’t Matter. Be realistic about what you need to do versus want to. If you need to, imagine what your trusted friend would tell you about whatever it is. My friends would say my dusting can wait until after I take some time for myself. How about you?

  5. See the above statement about what my friends would say about work versus self. You come first or you will have nothing to give to work or others.

  6. Start renaming your mistakes or failures. Maybe they are my slip ups or learning opportunities. Use your own NON-judgmental language here.

  7. The past is DONE. You do not have a time machine to change things, SO IT IS TIME TO MOVE ALONG. Every time your brain wants to remind you, say something like “that happened and next time I will do it differently” or “Yes, I did hurt them and now I know how to apologize and say things differently.” Ruminating in the past does not change it or make you a better person – PLEASE RE-READ this last sentence.

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword and you can either use it for good or evil – You decide.

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