Oakland Therapy: How to Overcome Your Perfectionism

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If you identify as a perfectionist, you may very well function at a higher level than the rest of us. But,it comes at a hefty cost. You may experience stress, anxiety and even burn-out. You may have left burned bridges and shattered relationships in your wake. Perfectionism is the endless search for something you will never find. This is an imperfect world. Nothing here will ever be perfect. Chasing after perfection is just a crippling disease.

Here are 7 ways to break out of your perfect prison.

You can get there from here.

1- Celebrate Your Mistakes

Okay, maybe you’re not ready to celebrate, yet. Let’s rather start with acceptance. The really big mistakes teach you precious lessons that you will never learn from success.

2- Forget “All-or-Nothing”

Seeing everything as either a success or a complete failure is self-defeating and delusional. No one ever walked straight into success without taking the baby steps and falling down a few times, first.

3- Be Nice to Yourself

When the going gets tough, the negative self-talk starts. It’s easy to chastice yourself. But, if you don’t value yourself, you compromise your well-being. Rather focus on the things you did well. Focus on your health and love your imperfect self.

4- Learn to Handle Criticism

If you view constructive criticism as an attack, it’s time for an attitude check. It’s constructive. You can learn so much and find important clues on how to come back even better, next time.

5- Value Your Loved Ones

Life shouldn’t revolve around work. Life is so much more. Chances are, your loved ones are the motivation behind your drive to succeed. Set time aside for them. Get involved in their lives. Show them care and concern without unhealthy expectations.

6- Enjoy the Process

If you focus on the process of reaching your goal instead of just the end result, you will notice the small gains you make along the way. Then you can focus on these to ease the disappointment if you don’t reach your ultimate goal.

7- Let Go

Yes, you want to do it all yourself. That’s just silly and simply not possible, healthy or fun. If you make sure that you have the right people, you can build a common understanding. But, then just let go. No one is capable of doing things exactly as you want them. If you allow them to grow, next time will be even better.

Try the above tips. Just don’t try to execute them perfectly! The sooner you lower your expectations, the sooner you’ll get rid of that incessant headache you probably have right now.

Do you need help? We can help. Call (510) 497-4197 today.

Dr. Dan Quinn

Clinical Director - Licensed Clinical Psychologist (CA23350), Dan supervised the therapy and research of doctoral students at The Wright Institute, in Berkeley, where he has been a clinical supervisor. He has spent many years studying a multitude of therapy techniques, including relational psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral, gestalt, solution-focused, and Internal Family Systems. He draws from all of them, depending upon the needs of the client at a particular point in the process. Dan was certified as a Positive Psychology coach after studying with its founder, Dr. Martin Seligman. He has 35 years of experience in the corporate arena, and was the CEO of a highly successful technology consulting firm.

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