Letting Go Of Perfection

Letting Go of Perfectionism: 11 Easy Steps You Must Know

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough? That you have to be perfect to be accepted? If so, you’re not alone. Perfectionism is something that a lot of people struggle with.

In fact, according to data collected in the U.K, the U.S, and Canada, between 1989 and 2016, perfeсtionism among young people has increased by 33%. That’s a staggering number, and it’s only growing.

This mental health issue can cause many problems in your life, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It can also lead to social isolation, as perfectionists tend to compare themselves to others and feel like they’re not good enough.

So, what is the root cause of perfectionism? And how can you overcome it?

In this article, we’ll explore perfectionism in-depth and provide you with 11 easy steps to help you let go of perfectionism for good!

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is the Root Cause of Perfectionism?

The root cause of perfectionism varies from person to person. For some, it may be due to the way they were raised. Perfectionistic parents often have high expectations for their children and may have been critical of them growing up. As a result, their children may have developed perfectionistic tendencies as well.

For others, perfectionism may be due to trauma or a significant life event. For example, if someone was ridiculed for not being perfect in their younger years, they may have developed perfectionistic tendencies as a way to cope with the trauma.

No matter the root cause, perfectionism is often driven by the fear of not being good enough. Perfectionists have a fear of failure and are often their own worst critics. They may feel they have to be perfect to be accepted and may strive for perfection in all areas of their life.

Perfectionist tendencies can be difficult to overcome, but it’s important to remember that perfectionism is a mental health issue, and it is possible to recover.

How to Overcome Perfectionism: 11 Practical Tips

Overcoming perfectionism is not always easy, but it is possible. Here are 11 steps to help you let go of perfectionism:

1. Identify Your Perfectionistic Tendencies

The first step to overcoming perfectionism is to identify your perfectionistic tendencies.

Do you have high standards for yourself? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you strive for perfection in all areas of your life? You might be a perfectionist if you answered yes to any of these questions.

Once you have identified your perfectionistic tendencies, you can work on overcoming them.

2. Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations

One of the biggest challenges for a recovering perfectionist is letting go of unrealistic standards. We often expect too much from ourselves and others, and when these expectations are not met, we can become disappointed, frustrated, and even angry.

It is important to remember that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay. Letting go of unrealistic expectations will help you be more accepting of yourself and others.

To let go of unrealistic expectations, try to focus on the positive aspects of yourself and others. Everyone has positive and negative qualities, so try to focus on the positive.

3. Practice Self-Compassion

One of the most important things you can do to overcome perfectionism is to practice self-compassion. When we are hard on ourselves, we are more likely to be perfectionists. Learning to be kind and understanding towards yourself will help you reduce negative self-talk and improve self-esteem.

When you make a mistake, try to be understanding and compassionate instead of beating yourself up. Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend in this situation?” and then say those same things to yourself.

4. Seek Out Support

Seeking out support from family and friends is another crucial step in overcoming perfectionism. When we feel alone, we are more likely to be hard on ourselves. Talking to someone who understands and can offer support and encouragement can be very helpful.

If you don’t have anyone in your life who can offer support, there are many online support groups for perfectionists. Join one of these groups, and you can connect with others who are going through the same thing.

5. Practice Self-Confidence

Let’s face it; perfectionists tend to lack self-confidence. We are so focused on our flaws and mistakes that we forget all of the great things about ourselves.

To build self-confidence, it is essential to focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Make a list of things you are proud of and refer to it when you feel down about yourself.

In addition, try to do one thing every day that makes you feel good about yourself. This can be something as simple as taking a bubble bath or writing in your journal.

6. Give Yourself a Break

There’s no such thing as a perfect life. We all have ups and downs, so giving yourself a break is essential. Don’t try to be perfect if you’re having a bad day. Just take a deep breath and relax.

When you feel overwhelmed, take a break from whatever you’re doing. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. You don’t have to do everything at once, so take your time and focus on one thing at a time.

7. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of the worst things you can do as a perfectionist is to compare yourself to others. We often compare ourselves to others we perceive as better than us. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Remember that everyone is different and that there is no such thing as a perfect person. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on being the best you can be.

8. Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes

Yes, it’s true. Mistakes are a part of life. But as perfectionists, we often see mistakes as failures. This can lead to social anxiety and a fear of taking risks.

It is important to remember that making mistakes is part of the learning process. If you never make any mistakes, you will never learn and grow. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Deep inside, many perfectionists believe they should be able to do everything independently. Asking for help is often seen as a sign of weakness.

But the truth is, we all need help from time to time. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. In fact, it is a sign of strength.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. You may also want to seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor.

10. Be Patient with Yourself

Many recovering perfectionists are rigid with themselves when it comes to progress. They expect to see results immediately and get frustrated when they don’t.

Progress takes time. Do you know the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race?” This is true when it comes to overcoming perfectionism. When you put intense pressure on yourself, it only makes things worse. So be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time.

11. Learn How to Receive Criticism

Criticism is something that every perfectionist dreads. We are so afraid of being judged that we often try to avoid criticism at all costs.

But the truth is that criticism is a part of life. You can’t please everyone all the time, so you will inevitably receive some criticism throughout your life.

The key is to learn how to accept criticism constructively. When someone criticizes you, try to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Final Thoughts

Overcoming perfectionism is a journey. It takes time, effort, and patience. But it is definitely possible to let go of perfectionism and live a happy and fulfilling life.

Setting impossible standards for yourself will only lead to disappointment. So take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself. Remember that mistakes are part of the learning process. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

If you are struggling with perfectionism, seek professional help from a therapist or counsellor. They can provide the support and guidance you need to overcome this condition.


Is Perfectionism a Form of Anxiety?

Yes, perfectionism is a form of anxiety. It is often characterized by intense fear and worry. People with perfectionism often have difficulty relaxing and tend to be very hard on themselves.

What Disorder Is Associated With Perfectionism?

Several disorders are associated with perfectionism, including social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and eating disorders.

Can You Recover From Perfectionism?

Yes, it is possible to recover from perfectionism. It takes time, effort, and patience. But it is definitely possible to let go of the negative thoughts and behaviours associated with perfectionism.

How Can We Stop Extreme Perfectionism?

To stop extreme perfectionism, it is crucial first to identify the root cause of your perfectionism. Once you know what is driving your perfectionism, you can begin to work on addressing those issues.

There are also several things you can do to let go of perfectionism, including:

  • Setting realistic goals for yourself
  • Avoiding procrastination
  • Learning to accept mistakes
  • Practising self-compassion
  • Seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor

Is Extreme Perfectionism a Mental Illness?

While perfectionism is not a mental illness, it can often lead to mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. If you are struggling with perfectionism, it is crucial to seek professional help.

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6 Reviews on Bodhi Heart

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Joshua Levy
Joshua Levy
I have bee seeing Soken for while now. If you have some sort of lingering physcial malady go see him, don't wait. He's pretty busy and it might take some time to get in so call right now. Some of my injuries and pain that I have had for years have been greatly relieved by his rolfing work and he's also just a great human being. I would totally go see him for his other services as well. Rolfing doesn't need to be super intense though it can be. He will calibrate to what you need
Philippa Newman
Philippa Newman
I cannot recommend Soken highly enough. He will literally transform your life. I first came to meet Soken for his Rolfing services when I had been living with unbearable lower back pain for over a year. Numerous visits to doctors, various x-rays and months of physical therapy later, I was no better off and desperate to find an alternative solution. Having read about Rolfing as a technique, I discovered Soken's practice in NYC. I am now back pain free and able to do things I thought no longer possible. As I learned more about Soken during our Rolfing sessions, I became interested in his spiritual life coaching /contemplative guidance program. His carefully tailored program has given me enormous insight, and I am a better person, mother and leader as a result. Soken has a calming, peaceful and reassuring presence, and I am extremely grateful to have met him when I did.
A Rice
A Rice
Soken is an amazing coach that will get to the essence of your issues. Difficult issues seem to become easier handle talking to Soken. He is a great coach to have, especially in these times. He is clear and ensures you leave each session with an understanding and a plan of action.
Maya Kumits
Maya Kumits
I’ve been going to Soken for years for my bodywork and sending everyone I know to him too. The work he does with his hands is incredible - I cannot say enough good things. This review, however, is for life coaching. I was faced with a decision recently that I was having trouble making. I was going in circles. I kept changing my mind because I ultimately had no idea what to do. I felt lost and confused. I reached out to Soken for help and was so glad I did. After struggling for weeks trying to figure out the right thing to do, a 1-hour call with him gave me the clarity I needed. By answering a series of thoughtful questions and hearing my answers reflected back to me, I was able to untangle the signal from the noise. By the end of the call, the answer revealed itself. It’s been a few weeks since our call and I still feel great about the decision. I’m so grateful to Soken for helping me with this and won’t hesitate to reach out again for more life coaching.
Marni Gordon
Marni Gordon
I highly recommend Soken as he's a fantastic coach! Soken really helped me set clear goals and measures, helped me to get to insight, and ensures that I have a strong action plan with accountability in every session. Soken's coaching helped me overcome the fear of taking the next step. Soken is sensitive and provides compassionate support through the process.
faraz khan
faraz khan
Soken is an exceptionally intelligent person who seems to understand any multiple of bodily issues. I've been struggling with a reoccurring injury the past few years, and already after the first session I can sense a lot of good has been done. I highly recommend him to anyone 😊
Shonni Silverberg
Shonni Silverberg
I got to know Soken as a client of his Rolfing practice, where his expertise was immeasurably valuable in treating my plantar fasciitis. During the COVID crisis, Soken introduced me to meditation. Practicing under his guidance has been extremely helpful in these turbulent times. Shonni J. Silverberg, M.D., New York, NY
Anaina Mascovich
Anaina Mascovich
The meditation guidance and talk last night was phenomenal. I have had instruction on Metta meditation before, but your explanation offered so much wisdom and direct understanding. Much Gratitude to You Soken.
Lena Elkousy
Lena Elkousy
This review is long overdue, and I would give 10 stars if I could. I cannot recommend Soken's work highly enough. Rolfing is an investment in my physical and emotional health that I wish I had made long ago. To put it quite simply, Soken has changed my life. When we work together, he listens to what I say and what my body says, and works with me right where I am. He is a true healer. In our first series of sessions, he permanently relieved shoulder/neck pain and unfurled a chronic knot that no amount of years of deep tissue massage could even touch. One side of my ribcage was bound with fascia and scar tissue from physical and emotional trauma, to the point that I couldn't breathe into my lower right lung without feeling cramping in surrounding muscles. Over a few sessions, he set me free, and you can actually see the difference in the shape of my ribs. In a series other sessions, he relieved sharp cramping in my feet that I've dealt with since childhood. As a yogi and meditator myself, I find Soken's integrative approach quite profound. Do yourself a favor and an act of self love: and go see this wizard.
Stella Nyla Jules
Stella Nyla Jules
Soken has been transformational in improving and diminishing the increasing pain in my neck and shoulder that traditional physical therapies failed to resolve. His patience, caring, and intuition are top notch.


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