Apart from health and safety, one of the hallmarks of 2020 was the focus on efficiency. Everyone was obsessed with the idea of getting the most out of their day, being as productive as can be, and living each moment to the absolute fullest. And because everyone was stuck at home, they’d have zero excuses to slack off, be interrupted by an abrupt meeting, or have to head off elsewhere.
However, fast-forward to the current day and the year 2021, countless people victim to perfectionism. As a result, those who fumbled mid-way are now struggling from burnout, and those still straggling on are already running on fumes. But, to that, we say reject perfectionism and slam the brakes because that lifestyle will get you nowhere.
Fixated on Things that Don’t Matter
Sure, at face value, it can seem that being a perfectionist has its merits; (1) setting high standards, (2) one-upping yourself, (3) and surpassing your limits. However, when you read in-between the lines, forcing these goals on your mind and body is unsustainable because everyone is innately imperfect, and that’s what makes us human. Your perfectionism becomes so bad to the point where even the smallest of details make you go berserk!
- Ruins Productivity: Another disadvantage brought upon by perfectionism is it being counterproductive; instead of getting things done more efficiently, you’re always held up by things that offer zero added value. Of course, you might find success at first, but over time you’ll experience diminishing gains that are far more severe.
- Prevents Growth: One of the worst parts about living a perfectionist lifestyle is that it prevents any form of growth and development. When we constantly avoid failure like the plague at every turn, we’re setting ourselves up for absolutely nothing. And, unless your perfectionism is geared towards seeking excellence, this self-oriented criticism negates any sense of learning.
What Can You Do?
Now that it’s clear how destructive a perfectionist mindset can be, we should strive to move away from it and establish contentment. Luckily, there are plenty of methods to untangle ourselves from perfectionism. While it can take time, the effort invested will be worthwhile and save you from so many unnecessary pains in the long run.
#1 Prioritize Yourself
Number one, you need to restructure your outlook of living and learn to prioritize yourself first. Most perfectionists stem from the idea to please as many people and being their own worst critic, so turn away from those unrealistic standards and put back the same effort into self-love. Expecting too much from yourself is stressful, and your body will be craving the due care it deserves after all this time of cranking out 200% energy.
We suggest starting with the little things, simply treating yourself to some good meals, binge-watching that Netflix show you’ve been holding off for so long, or maybe even get updated with your close friends who’ve been dying to hear from you. From then on, you can step up with investing in personal care, perhaps a much-needed massage at the spa, or a quick trip to the dentist for dental alignment.
#2 Set Realistic Outcomes
It would help if you started working on shifting from idealistic goals and perfect outputs to getting used to realistic outcomes. If it’s a work quota, don’t pressure yourself to pass much earlier than the deadline, pace yourself properly and meet the requirements; there’s no need to go overboard. As for content creators and creatives, a pandemic doesn’t mean you’re supposed to output twice the amount of music, videos, or any form of production. Take your time because your audience is sure to understand.
Once again, we recommend starting small and slowly building yourself up; factor in breaks in between your peak hours, and don’t force yourself to go beyond what’s required. Of course, there will be times when crunch time is necessary, but that’s not all the time, so set your boundaries.
#3 Schedule a Time Off
Lastly, if you can afford to give yourself a proper break, we strongly recommend scheduling a good time off. Small changes can only do so much, but if you want to reset your body and allow it to break away from perfectionism and bounce back more well-rounded, you’re going to need some proper downtime.
A week should be more than enough, but if you can manage to score yourself more, then don’t shy away from the chance to relax and unwind. Take the time to revisit old hobbies like picking up the paintbrush, trying out a new salad recipe, or even cracking a cold one.
No One’s Obligated to Do the Impossible
Overall, we want to emphasize that no one’s obligated to do the impossible, and there’s nothing wrong with being imperfect. There’s so much more to life than meets the eye, and perfectionism keeps you fixated on all the wrong things. So, take it from us and heed our advice to start establishing contentment for the year 2021.