We have a desire to make the most out of what we have and the time we have. The problem is that it’s not always clear what is the “the most”. How do you quantify relaxation? Or fun? Or productivity? Feeling like you aren’t getting everything you can out of an experience or thing can make life feel disappointing.
We have standards for everything, based upon what we’ve experienced before. Perfectionists tend to take those reasonably set standards and rocket them sky high. We don’t want to relax, we want to be completely and fully relaxed enough to be able to do lots of work later on! And for some reason, that mindset doesn’t facilitate rest. Even work can be frustrating because everything you are doing could be better, more, different. Thinking like that can be draining and distracting.
Being perfectionistic isn’t always bad. It drives us to think about problems in various, creative ways. It drives us to be the best we can be. It makes us ambitious and passionate at times! The problem is, our minds can be difficult to train down and tame. Not everything needs to consider 20 solutions. Here are three tactics that help perfectionism: 1. Alter the bar. Seriously look at what you’re expecting of yourself and question why it’s there. Change it to a more managable goal. Then change it to half of what you think is “manageable”. 2. Rule of thumb, if you are exhausted and trying to push through it constantly, you’re overstretching yourself. It’s sometimes acceptable in fitness, but always being tired and stressed is a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard. Notice your pushing and make yourself hang out with people who will distract and relax you. 3. Meditate. Pray. Read. Do something that forces you to take the focus off your problems and gives you a look at the bigger picture. You are not the center of the world, if you do not achieve those massive standards, life will still go on. Keep your goals, but let the standards of the waypoints be reasonable to achieve. It is working consistently and doing our (non-self destructive) best, that we bit by bit achieve our goals.