Why You Should Stop Being a Perfectionist

by Self-Care Tips

Anxious Observer Thoughts


  • Why should I want to overcome perfectionism? 
  • It has gotten me so many A’s and awards. 
  • I am only as good as I am perfect. 


Woah woah woah. Let’s start here. It is always good to want to do well and work your hardest; however, hard work and dedication should not me mixed up in the perfectionist bucket. If you wear perfectionism as a badge of honor, it is time to rethink it because it is actually more like a bandage of horror. It constrains you and limits you. For starters:


    • In fact, more time is WASTED on perfectionism than the opposite. In any given day, a perfectionist could send 1 email for the price of 5 of non-perfectionistic hard worker. 
    • In fact, many of the most innovative and shocking people do not call themselves perfectionists.
    • In fact, the CEOs of most companies fight every day not to be perfectionists. Its their line level managers who struggle with it. 


If this does not yet convince you that you got to cut out the perfectionism, let me illustrate just how impactful ditching perfectionism was on my life. 


Perfectionistic Week:

  1. Monday: Spend all day panicking over work emails. Every time I think of doing something fun or taking a break, I remind myself that I am not allowed until I get all my work done.
  2. Tuesday: Redo and worry about the thing I started yesterday. Decide I will put that thing off when I have more time and focus on the emails. 
  3. Wednesday: Have anxiety over the thing I am avoiding because I know I have to do it but I am afraid to do it. Get through my usual work day, try to do a fun hobby, and give myself agita over not doing the thing I have to do.
  4. Thursday: Panic rush the thing I have to do, but then get myself super sick from doing it. End up just rushing to send it to my boss. 
  5. Friday: Receiving feedback from my boss that the project was good that I gave them. Spending the rest of Friday annoyed that I worried. 
  6. Saturday: Working from 7AM-7PM on a paper for school. Not submitting it.
  7. Sunday: Working from 7AM-7PM on a paper for school. Still not submitting it.
  8. Monday: Waking up at 4:00AM to double-check the paper before submitting it. 


And the cycle went on…


How that shifted once I got over perfectionism?

  1. Monday: Tackle each task one by one. Schedule some breaks. End my day at 5:30PM. 
  2. Tuesday: Tackle the big task first. Then see what else I can get done.
  3. Wednesday: Take a lot more breaks this day because I am tired. Save today for emails. Start my paper due on Monday.
  4. Thursday: Realize I am in a groove with the school paper. Write a bit more. Have some work meetings. 
  5. Friday: Submit a big project for work. Take the evening to celebrate. 
  6. Saturday: Submit my paper for school by 12:00PM. Spend the rest of the day with my family.
  7. Sunday: Day off.
  8. Monday: Repeat last week. 


And the cycle goes on… for the better.


FACT: We all know that the extra hour worrying about the test did nothing to help you on the test. We all know that the time you spent on Monday 4:00 in the morning rereading paper did nothing for your grade. We all know that the amount of effort you spent ensuring your cookies were the picture of perfection meant nothing to the kids who gobbled them up. 


Perfectionism simply holds us back from finishing tasks, adds unnecessary stress, and makes people hate having us help them with anything. It also is just a big ol’ waste of time, sucking up our free time with nonsense. 


For more on if you are a perfectionist or how to actually overcome perfectionism, check out my other blogs in this perfectionism series. 

I also got a sweet free guide HERE for recovering from perfectionism. 

For more, check out my other self-care blogs at https://www.katkiseli.com/ckk-home/blogs/ I would love to hear your thoughts – Comment below!


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Burnout Coach Kat Kiseli

Hi, I’m Kat

I’m on a Mission to Help High Achievers Find Happiness & Balance


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