How to Overcome Perfectionism?

Even though many people exhibit perfectionist tendencies and may even take pride in them, there are significant differences between perfectionists and high achievers. Being a high achiever is significantly better for your well-being. This is why in this article we will be discussing ways how to overcome perfectionism.

High achievers are motivated to give it their all, unlike perfectionists who are petrified by the fear of failing.

How to overcome perfectionism? Fortunately, a person can change these behaviors. In this article, we’ll talk about perfectionism, how it shows up in real life, and how to eventually overcome it.

Before actually moving towards how you overcome perfectionism, let’s quickly review what perfectionism is, the types of perfectionism, why perfectionism is bad, and the good things about perfectionism. 

What Is Perfectionism? 

The urge to seem or be perfect is a trait of perfectionism. Perfectionists strive for perfection in whatever they do to win others’ admiration. They frequently have high goals and insist on extraordinary outcomes no matter what is necessary.

how to overcome perfectionism

When perfectionism is healthy and constructive, it can motivate you to overcome obstacles and achieve success. It can rapidly and regularly result in unhappiness when unhealthy.

Types Of Perfectionism

Although there are multiple levels of details to perfectionism, they come in three major types. Even though the types are similar, there are some significant differences. They are as follows:

Self-oriented Perfectionists

Self-oriented perfectionists are systematic and accountable. They have high standards for themselves in their personal and professional lives, yet they can still accomplish their goals.

High degrees of self-oriented perfectionism are often linked to the most adaptive traits, such as resourcefulness and assertiveness, which are correlated with greater productivity and success. They show higher levels of motivation and upbeat emotions.

Socially-prescribed Perfectionism

Perfectionism is required in this circumstance by a third party. This might occur if you hold a job requiring the highest precision level, such as a lawyer or doctor. The likelihood of having thoughts of hopelessness, stress, self-harm, or even suicide is higher in those working in these industries. Perfectionism may also require people to be subject to strict social or cultural norms.

Other-oriented Perfectionism

Other-oriented perfectionists hold other people to a high standard and are harshly critical of those who fall short. They say that perfectionists who put their needs before others’ are callous, unjust, and lacking in empathy. They frequently make fun of others and express their displeasure by criticizing them.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Perfectionism

Is it good to be a perfectionist? 

There are certain advantages to being perfect but numerous drawbacks to having an ideal personality. Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of being a perfectionist.


  • Perfectionists generally exert tremendous effort since their short and long-term goals are clearly defined.
  • Demanding oneself while remaining unafraid to make mistakes or lose patience with anything is a positive quality.
  • A perfectionist produces high-quality work because he spends so much time ensuring everything is perfect.
  • Perfectionists look for methods to improve themselves, and their skill set every chance they get.
  • They do the tasks quickly because, in contrast to other people, they can focus on various topics simultaneously.


  • Out of various drawbacks of perfectionism, a perfectionist puts themselves under excessive pressure and overthinks everything.
  • The negative emotions that are more likely to influence perfectionists are tension, worry, despair, and feelings of self-hatred.
  • In their pursuit of perfection, perfectionists frequently neglect to complete other crucial tasks. It hinders perfectionists’ productivity.
  • Obsessions are undesirable. This becomes a habit when we strive for perfection, and a severe obsessive image might emerge.
  • What is the problem with perfectionism? Perfectionists strive for perfection in all they do, often leading to extended workdays and job addiction.

How To Overcome Perfectionism? 

How do you break the cycle of being a perfectionist? It is possible to combat perfectionism without the help of treatment. 

Are you still wondering about how to overcome perfectionism? These steps will help you in overcoming perfectionism.

Reduce the stress you place on yourself

Remember that the burden you place on yourself is all on you. You can learn to accept and love yourself by lowering the unreasonable expectations you have for yourself. You’re doing fantastic as long as you’re still motivated and giving it your all. 

Focus on the Positives

We constantly look for defects in ourselves or our efforts to be perfect. But it’s essential that we also make an effort to recognize the advantages. Try to devise three alternatives for each item you’re not content with.

Avoid Procrastination

This can be pretty frustrating and useless in the long term. Beginnings are frequently the hardest, but even creating a simple plan for our work in advance is preferable to doing nothing. Concentrate on the task at hand rather than the end goal. 

Accept Your Mistakes and Appreciate Your Success

Perfectionists tend to punish themselves for any perceived shortcoming. According to research, forgiving oneself is the best method to stop putting things off. 

Celebrate each achievement, no matter how small. 

Take Criticism Positively

The reason why perfectionists usually have poor self-esteem is that they take criticism personally. However, getting constructive criticism is important because it can improve us. Remember that constructive criticism is usually helpful because it can make us stronger.

Ending Note

Even though it can be challenging, overcoming perfectionism is essential. You can achieve your goals by learning to control your perfectionistic urges while minimizing the negative repercussions on your relationships, health, and general wellbeing. 


Why is it not good to be a perfectionist?

There are multiple reasons why it is not good to be a perfectionist.

  • A person is never satisfied with his performance.
  • They don’t take risks.
  • They tend to make everyone happy. 
  • They criticize others a lot. 

How do you break a perfectionist cycle?

To break or overcome the perfectionist cycle: 

  • Focus on positives.
  • Take small steps.
  • Tell yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes. 
  • Try not to procrastinate. 

Can you stop being a perfectionist?

One of the most effective strategies to overcome perfectionism in adults is to replace self-critical or perfectionistic beliefs with more realistic and helpful ones.

How do I stop thinking like a perfectionist?

To avoid thinking like a perfectionist: 

  • Be realistic.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Watch your self-talk.
  • Take reasonable risks. 

What is the downfall of being a perfectionist?

Per studies, perfectionists are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and anxiety. It decreases your productivity and makes you a procrastinator.

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