So here I am, as I promised with the second edition of how to work with that lil itch of perfectionism that can become a full fledged rash, which you can't get rid of. Hey I am nothing if not perfect :D !! All puns intended !! I did warn you, once I start talking there's no stopping me. So lets get started people -
Awareness - having self awareness, about how you struggle with perfectionism and recognizing the signs of what you do, how you talk to yourself, where are you in your living when you are in this mode - by this I mean are you constantly in your head, living in the past, or fearful of the future outcome, or both,
Change the Negative Self-talk - something we all do, but perfectionist do it to a point of perfection, cause anything less would be failing!! We do this, if as children no matter what we did, we were always made to feel we could do better, nobody ever said that what you had achieved was enough. Every time you catch yourself doing this, then turn the chat into a positive one, by telling yourself what an amazing job you are doing, and how proud you are of yourself.
If you find yourself Procrastinating - then you have now overwhelmed yourself so much about the task you need to achieve and how perfect it needs to be, that you can't even get started. Break the task down to little steps, and accomplish them one by one, without thinking of all the steps you need to take.
Journaling - this is a great way to create awareness and understand your behavior. Some people just do a mind dump, where they literally write out all their thoughts, others prefer a more structured approach with prompts and questions they ask themselves to get to the root of the issue, trigger and how they react to these, which helps them be more aware when they are responding from their ego-self and can hence bring themselves back to being conscious and present.
Meditation - you must have expected this, right?? Well all that people say about meditation is right. But there are many who feel they can't meditate or focus, but there are various ways to meditate. Such as focusing on your breath, while taking in and breathing out deeply, chanting, guided meditation or just music with eyes closed and just not focusing on any thoughts that are coming through but just gently just letting them pass. You can start small and build this up, I was one of those who couldn't meditate and focus her mind, but now cannot imagine life without at least a 30 minute meditation everyday.
Forgiving yourself - learning to accept yourself, and forgiving yourself when you did not achieve what you set out to do so, is so important. This is where we are teaching our inner child, its okay to be as your are, you don't need to constantly be on high alert, constantly achieving. Who we are is enough, and our imperfections are what set us apart from others, it makes us that much more unique.
I hope this helps you control those perfectionist impulses, like it does for me. I won't say it will cure you of it completely and quickly, but you will be more aware and hence more accepting of yourself. The more positive reinforcement and compassion you give your inner self , the more the change will embed itself!!