How do you become a perfectionist? Are people just born being a perfectionist or is it taught? These are things I’ve continuously asked myself many times before because I struggle with letting things go as they are. Things have to be a certain way all the time for me and it shouldn’t always have to be that way.

People who are over-thinkers, critical of themselves and others, and scared of change are typically perfectionists. There are a few factors that contribute to someone becoming a perfectionist. Their childhood can be one reason and if they felt pressured to be a certain way and that pressure of societal expectations followed them into adulthood. Throughout my life I always felt like I had to be a certain person, and if I wasn’t I thought I wouldn’t be accepted. So everything I did following my childhood resulted in me trying to perfect everything I did. I overthought every situation and was very critical of people in my life. I started to realize my relationships were being affected as well.

It took a lot of honesty and reflecting to know I was the problem. I started creating checklists and if people didn’t meet every point, I would dismiss them and create excuses about why I associate with that person. As a perfectionist, it’s very difficult to build accepting relationships, feel like you are making progress at work or receive new opportunities. Whether or not someone can “get over” perfectionism, isn’t clear. I don’t think it’s something that can be cured per se. But there are things that can be done to eliminate some of the desires to live perfectly.

Be kind to yourself

Don’t allow yourself to think negative thoughts. Know your self worth and know you can be anyone and anything you want. Don’t feel pressured to be something that you think others want you to be or ashamed of your imperfections.  

Take one day at a time

You can only do one thing at a time and can only control what you do. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking of things you can’t do anything about or wish you could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. Stay in the moment and be present.

Stop procrastinating

Don’t wait until the last minute to do things.  Allow yourself time to plan ahead and prepare yourself for the things you must do. Stop waiting until the time feels right to do something because there will never be “the right time”. Take a chance and do it now.

Do a reality check

Don’t let yourself get in your own way. Self-doubt may begin to overpower your thoughts and you will need to ask yourself a few things such as is the situation worth it, are the thoughts even true, will this matter in five years. If the answer is no to all of them, then you need to let it go. So, don’t be afraid to check yourself when you feel like you need to.