Progress or Perfection

May 31, 2021 | Mental Health

As women, we are often plagued with overwhelming thoughts of perfection. While many of these thoughts are born from a place of good intention, we unintentionally set ourselves up for failure.

No matter how hard you work, how productive you are, how over the top your child’s 2nd birthday party is, no matter how many friends you have, there will always be someone or something you perceive to be doing more and better than you.

As a perfectionist, your worth and esteem comes from all the friends you try to impress and the success you have in those relationships. Trying to be perfect every day, feeds a loop of anxiety you will never be able to escape. It becomes a need you will never achieve, the dangling carrot you chase everyday. Perfectionism is closely associated with depression, anxiety, and addiction. It adds unnecessary stress to our lives.

There are healthier ways to live, and in so doing, will restructure your life and your health. The secret lies in progress, rather than perfection.

Progress is constant and steady. It’s giving yourself a little grace and realizing you are doing the best you can. Progress is not worrying about the social media feed of anyone which causes incongruent comparison. Progress is having realistic expectations, rather than over the top ideas.

When trying to break the cycle of perfectionism, remind yourself of the progress your making…

  1. Done is better than perfect
  2. Find gratitude in the positive things you do.
  3. Learn to laugh at your mistakes and move on.
  4. Focus on your character, not your accomplishments.
  5. Enjoy the process of each task, not the end result.
  6. Notice how much more you learn when you aren’t afraid to start…and fail.
  7. Let go of approval and hang on to acceptance.

It’s an interesting activity to spend a day, checking in with yourself and notice the areas in your life that are driven by perfectionism. Think about why that is and what steps you could take today, to let some of that control and stress go. If you discover that it’s a way of handling depression or anxiety, it’s time to see a healthcare provider at Madison Women’s Clinic and get your life back.

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