I get it. Maybe your perfectionism is getting in the way of finishing or starting projects you always wanted to pursue. Or maybe it’s just too scary to think might happen if you scrawl a few words on a page. It can be suffocating in such a way that we’re unable to to keep going, for fear that our work will be criticized, or for fear that we will be perceived as “less than.” Chances are, if another person truly thinks of you as less intelligent as you are, then that person really is unable to believe in his or her own abilities. Whether or not you are worried about how others perceive you, others have similar concerns.
Exercises for overcoming your perfectionism/ workaholism/ not being enough/worthy
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Start asking for what you need
If you really want to fend off your perfectionism, asking for what you need is the best way to open the floodgates of flexibility. If you need to, think of it as an act of service to others. By showing that you don’t know something also gives others the chance to be vulnerable. The repetitive act of clarifying something or asking questions then conditions us into recognizing that nothing will bite us in the a** or recognizing that we survived after asking for help. Practice asking for suggestions. It doesn’t mean that you are “weak” or not the “expert”. Rather, it’s a sign of humility. It’s the way that we all learn and assert ourselves.
Write about yourself from the 3rd person perspective
In this exercise, write about your qualities as a person. This key is to identify who you are beyond your external accomplishments or appearance. It might be easier to pretend as though you are narrating someone else’s life, and therefore gain some perspective.
Practice doing something “imperfectly”
Purposely find an activity that you are mediocre at and find the fun in it. Fully experience what it’s like not to try so hard all the time. Maybe you’ll find relief in it! See if you can be silly while trying not to attain the “ideal” outcome. If you need any exercises: draw with your left hand and have a competition with a friend --who can draw the messiest picture?
Acknowledge that we’re human
Even those who might appear “perfect” on the outside or seem like they have it “all together” have skeletons in their closets. Everyone has some fear or struggles that they have endured. We are all fallible beings.
Make a list of what you really want from life
By writing this list, maybe you’re better able to see your purpose and realize what is meaningful to you. The reasoning behind this question is to shed some light on what drives us at a deeper level, rather than focusing on superficial outcomes.
Most people do not have the goal to be alone on an island. If you do, have at it! Most of us want to make money, but at the end of the day, we really might want to make money so that we can be surrounded by and spend time with those who matter to us.