Do you battle with perfectionism? I do. It often holds me back from my own success because I feel paralyzed by it.

The more real and confident I have become the more I realize that being a perfectionist is simply a cover for fear.

Fear of letting others down.

Fear of others not liking our work.

Fear of failing.

Fear of missing the mark.

Perfectionism is a trap because it convinces us that things have to be done perfectly or not at all. That causes us to freeze and take no action because it is actually impossible to do anything perfectly. Perfect is an impossible standard to reach.

Perfectionism can very much get in your own way of success. You may find yourself procrastinating or abandoning projects. Sometimes, perfectionists would rather abandon ship than face the possibility of falling short. Perfectionists rightfully worry they can never meet their own standards. Without any wiggle room, any task becomes difficult and unpleasant, which means it gets put off, and put off and put off.

You may feel overwhelmed. Perfectionists often feel like a deer in the headlights. It can make tasks totally overwhelming.

All of these hinder your success and happiness.

Here are five ways to get out of the impossible perfectionism loop.

  1. Acknowledge that being perfect is impossible. Truly no one is perfect 100 percent of the time at everything. No matter how things appear.
  2. Surround yourself with people who are imperfect and own it. This also applies to social media. When you follow people on social media who seem to be perfect or have a perfect life, it only adds unnecessary pressure for you to live up to their unrealistic standards.
  3. Get moving. Perfectionism causes procrastination because of the idea that you need to do all things perfectly or not at all. It’s like becoming paralyzed. I am guilty of this. If you wait until things are perfect, you’ll be waiting forever. Just take that first step – that’s the biggest step of all.
  4. Understand you don’t need to be perfect to have a great life. You can be mediocre or good at something and still live a happy and fulfilled life. Oftentimes, good is good enough.
  5. Understand that letting go of perfectionism is the only way to be truly happy. Perfectionism doesn’t make you feel perfect. In fact, it makes you feel inadequate. Changing the unrealistic standards you set for yourself can be the key that unlocks true happiness.

Always remember that you are a work in progress and be kinder to yourself as you continue to learn and grow and become the best version of yourself.