Deal With Stress

Is your idea of perfection affecting your work performance and self esteem?

perfectionismPerfectionism is trying to reach an idealized standard that doesn’t exist or is nearly impossible to obtain. It can make you feel anxious, guilty and inferior. If you are a perfectionist you are probably quite critical of yourself and others which causes low self esteem and unhealthy relationships. It results in underachievement which is usually the thing perfectionists are trying to steer clear of.

People often use perfectionism to force themselves to perform well and raise self-esteem, but it has the opposite effect. Has fear of not doing something perfectly caused you to spend too much time on tasks and avoid them because you can’t do them perfectly? Has your perfectionism caused you to beat up on yourself – lowering your sense of self?  Perfectionism leads to paralysis and is self abusive and self-defeating.

Perfectionism prevents the exact thing that you are trying to achieve – feeling good about yourself and performing work well.

Here are some much more resourceful strategies you can use:

  • Accept that Imperfections are a part of life (unless you have stopped growing as a person.)
  • Notice the qualities of your work/life rather than the imperfections. This increases self worth and results in your enhanced performance.
  • Change your idea of perfection eg achieving only that which is essential and required for the given situation. This frees you to spend more time on other important tasks.
  • Aiming for progress not perfection is more rewarding and reduces stress.
  • Most people improve work performance over time. Compare your standard today with your past standard and not with an idealized future standard.
  • Having the attitude that most people are doing the best they can with what they have reduces resentment and conflict. When you stop looking at imperfections you might discover that you and others are doing much better than you thought.
  • Don’t associate your self-worth with your quality of work. Your work performance is only a reflection of your work performance and is not a reflection of your worth as a person.
  • Ask yourself – how will the quality of this task affect my life in the big scheme of things?
  • See the gift or lesson in the inevitable imperfections – how many times has a mistake turned out to better a situation?

You might have the misconception that once you reach perfection, all will be okay, YOU will be okay. Unfortunately today’s perfection is never good enough tomorrow because you’ll keep raising the bar. Haven’t you done this many times before?


Author Bio: Allison Bright loves watching clients take back the reins of their lives so they can enjoy the happy, harmonious lifestyle they deserve. If you are ready to release old life patterns that no longer serve you, contact Allison To learn more about work-life balance coaching go to

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