become an expert in your field

Become an imperfectionist

Perfectionism is something that affects us all -- if you're not a perfectionist then you know someone who is. I myself am a semi-perfectionist (I'm sure some will argue there's no such thing!) because I'm a perfectionist in certain areas of my life but not all areas. But I still understand the process, and how trying to make everything "just right" all the time can really leave you feeling exhausted and drained.

become an expert in your field

So what to do? How to fight it? Become an imperfectionist, of course! But the trick is not to go overboard, as it's all about balance (isn't everything?). Here are some tips and ideas on how to make it happen:

Most pressure (a.k.a. "stress") is self-imposed. Are you prioritizing things in the best way? You do realize that not everything can be #1, right? Take a good hard look at all the things that are bearing down on you everyday and consciously filter out the things that really aren't that important. And take a good hard look at how much effort you're putting into what tasks: is that really where your energy belongs? Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't, but odds are you're over-achieving in at least one area, at the expense of another (like your health).

Go with the ebb and flow of your career. Things change, and life is all about cycles and rhythms. If you're at a point in your life (young? single?) where you have the energy and the time to throw yourself into your work wholeheartedly, then go for it. But don't beat yourself up as the years go by and things change (married? family?) and you start finding yourself focusing some of your time and energy elsewhere. Guilt trips are exhausting and unhealthy, and they don't help you work any better.

Drop 3 things from your To Do list. This is a tough thing to do -- you're probably thinking you'll just re-prioritize and move 3 things to the bottom of the list instead of off it completely. But you can let a few things go -- life will go on and you'll still be successful. And you'll start to feel better, which means you'll perform better! It's a totally upward positive cycle.

There are a few more things on this list, but I think these are the big ones. And although the original article was geared mostly towards women I find these ring true for everybody really. Is there anything you can think to add to the list? Or a special trick or quote that helps you get through tough moments of impossible perfectionism? Please share! Some of us could really use the advice!

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