Overcoming Perfectionism: How to Embrace Imperfection and Find Happiness

in #lifelast year

“Perfectionism is holding yourself back from living and loving to your fullest potential.”

Being a perfectionist can mean different things to different people, but for most of us it’s tied to high expectations, perfectionism, and striving for an idealized version of ourselves that we will never achieve.


Many people use perfectionism as a form of self-punishment, feeling like failures when they aren't able to meet an unrealistic standard. We can even see this in our social media feeds, where we often see people complaining about a mistake they made, rather than acknowledging that they did something right.

So how do we overcome this mindset? It’s hard to become less perfect, but it is possible to start embracing imperfection. This will lead to happiness and joy, which we all strive for.

How do I know that I need to stop being a perfectionist?

The first thing I want to do is help you get clear on what perfectionism is for you. I suggest starting with a self-assessment, and this can be found at https://www.perfectionismisbad.com/.

Once you’re done with that, I encourage you to read the book, “Living with Impairments: An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,” by Dr. David Barlow. It’s a really great way to change your perspective on perfectionism. It covers everything from how your brain works to your thoughts to your emotions to your body.

If you do decide to go ahead and read this book, remember that the goal isn’t to eliminate perfectionism. The goal is to learn how to accept it. Once you learn how to embrace the imperfections of your life, then you are able to live your life without striving for a perfect outcome.

What is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)?

In ACT, we look at the relationship between thoughts and behaviors. It helps us understand the thoughts that we hold, and the impact they have on us.

When we think about someone who doesn't accept their imperfections, we tend to judge them for it. But when we’re able to recognize that we’re judging, we can start to think about this in a more positive light. We can think about how accepting this person would be towards themselves, and that they have the power to choose how they want to respond to whatever situation they find themselves in.

This is why ACT teaches you to accept your negative thoughts, and replace them with thoughts that empower you to behave in a way that's healthy for you. So instead of worrying, you think about all the good things you have in your life.

Let me tell you a story:

One day, I was walking down the street minding my own business. I saw a man with a sign for a charity event. He was handing out flyers, and I decided to get one. I was excited and a little nervous. I opened the


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