If you’re an extreme perfectionist, you may not see how much you’re hurting yourself and those you love (read 7 Signs You’re an Extreme Perfectionist).
Thankfully, reversing the damage of trying to get it all right doesn’t take extreme measures. When dealing with extreme perfectionism, less is definitely more. Each tip below will help to get your life back. Remember: Practice makes perfect! (Pun intended.)
1. Set micro-goals and celebrate. Needing to feel 100% done before acknowledging your progress is a no-win game. Instead of one finish line that you keep moving, create many finish lines on the way to your big one. Each finish line marks the completion of one small task, and one task cannot consume more than one hour. Why one hour? It keeps you focused. Set the timer on your cell, or arrange for a friend to call you at the end of the hour. Focus on that one thing for that one hour. When the timer goes off, STOP. Leave the space you were working in (even if it means leaving the house). This shifts your energy. Reward yourself immediately. Take a relaxing bath, hit the gym, have sex, eat your favorite dessert, watch your favorite guilty pleasure show. Celebrate hitting your micro-goal.
2. Walk the (baby) talk. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your ‘To Do’ list is too “high-level”. As an extreme perfectionist, you don’t see all the little tasks hidden inside just one; so you go for too much. Instead of declaring you’re going to ‘clean the house’ today, declare that you’ll clean the bathroom. Just the bathroom. Your ‘to-do’ list will be all the little tasks involved in cleaning the bathroom. The ‘to-do’ list on the left is a recipe for extreme exhaustion. The right? Just right!
|Extreme Perfectionist||Recovering Perfectionist|
|· Clean the house||· Clean the bathroom. · Tub · Toilet · Sink · Shower · Counters · Mirrors · Floor · Walls|
|· Do all the laundry||· Wash and fold 3 days of outfits and underclothes.|
|· Go grocery shopping||· Buy ingredients for tacos.|
|· Cook dinner||· Make tacos.|
|· Hit the gym||· Do 25 sit-ups and take a walk.|
3. Meditate and reframe. Meditation is magical! It’s all about learning to retreat into and explore the inner self. It immediately slows us down and heightens our self-awareness. Start small, by sitting quietly for 2 minutes a day and gradually work your way up. Pick a word that relaxes you. Repeat it silently as you drift into yourself further. Observe yourself through your mind’s eye. What’s your energy? If it’s negative, focus on your breath; the LIFE coursing through you. Count each breath and silently thank each one for keeping you alive. Focus on what matters.
4. Release expectation. Practice planting seeds without attachment. Water and feed them, but don’t sit and wait for them to grow. That means, do something because you love what you’re doing. When you love it, your expectations are already met. Anything above that is others witnessing and appreciating that love. On your first attempt at something, look at what you’ve done and say, “I love you.” You’ll be surprised at the shift in energy you create.
5. Interrupt your flow. Right in the middle of your work, get up and dance. For one minute, straight. Then shred a few pieces of junk mail and kiss your loved ones, if they’re home, or call them and make plans to meet up later. Go back to your work, say, “I love you. See you tomorrow.” Go live your life. Do this every day until you find balance again.
6. Have a ‘good enough’ plan. When dealing with surprise visits, always be prepared by having an idea of what will be ‘good enough’ to make you feel comfortable. If making sure there’s cold drinks and a quick snack in the fridge, the sink is clear and the guest bathroom is wiped down, that’s ‘good enough’. If it’s a disclaimer that anyone can feel free to visit, but don’t expect perfection, that’s a plan, too. Whatever it is, the ‘good enough’ plan should make you feel relaxed and open for a random visit.
7. Join a Mastermind. Great masterminds surround you with like-minded people, provide strong support and keep you focused and accountable. However, when it comes to extreme perfectionism, not all masterminds are created equal. Excusebreaker's FAM (Freedom Accelerator Masterminds) led by Master Strategist, Celeste Brown, are specifically designed to help participants work through ego, perfectionism and misplaced energy, which collectively create a dangerous cycle called ‘excuse-addiction’. The FAM combines learning and networking, with ‘tension level’ and ‘progress-resistance’ checkpoints, one-on-one strategy coaching, strict deadlines and no-nonsense accountability (think, ‘proof of progress’ spotlights). The main goal of the FAM is to help you create wealth doing what you love. Above all, in the FAM, excuses are not welcome.
8. Remember to say, “I love you. You’re good enough.” And go live your life.