How to Deal with Perfectionism | College Info Geek

How to Deal with Perfectionism | College Info Geek:

There are two types of perfectionists:

Active perfectionists are motivated by their high standards. They pursue their goals without compromising their self-esteem, aren’t hyper-critical of their work, and channel massive amounts of energy and focus into pursuits that require effort and attention to detail.

Maladaptive perfectionists, on the other hand, feel constant pressure to meet unrealistic standards. Their perfectionism can cause them to procrastinate, and they often deal with anxiety and even depression due to their inability to meet the high ideals they feel they’re expected to meet.

Some problems perfectionism might cause you (all true for me!):

  • It’s difficult to get started because tasks seem monumental
  • Constant tweaking and editing causes you to take too long to finish/publishand move on to the next thing
  • Skill development suffers because you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes, which are critical to learn from
  • It causes anxiety because you’re constantly thinking about how the work will be judged, and you’re holding it up to an impossible standard

Realize that you are not perfect, and that nobody is perfect

It’s hard to truly believe that second part sometimes because the internet surrounds us with so many finished, polished things.


Remember that those are part of the process. Embrace imperfection. Embrace mistakes.


Just get started, and let your work become a mess

Don’t worry about the state of your project during the first stage. Just get it created in its initial rough form and let it be terrible.

Feedback and constructive criticism should come once you’ve already created a prototype and are ready to start improving it.

Work with a deadline

This is the practice that helps me deal with my perfectionism the most.


But remember the differences between adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism. If your tendency to be a perfectionist is causing you anxiety, I think setting a time to finish and move on is crucial. You need to create a structure that forces you to stop dwelling on the minutiae of one project.


Focus on getting a little bit better each time.

If you improve my just 1% each time you make something, over time those improvements will compound. Eventually, you’ll be a master. But you have to finish things.

Calling something done, putting it out there, and having mistakes or imperfections pointed out to you… these are all parts of the learning process.

Skill and knowledge are gained through countless iterations – not through creating a perfect first iteration.

Regardless of whatever you’re working on right now, there are techniques and other aspects you aren’t even aware of. The skills you’ll gain making the first 9 things will allow you to hone the 10th one to a degree you didn’t even know was possible when you were on your first.

Let your influences inspire you, but don’t measure yourself against them

Compare your work against your previous work. When drawing from other work, let it inspire you, influence you, and drive you to improve. But don’t expect the quality of your work to equal it.


from Tumblr

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