Baby Steps: Get Rid of Perfectionism and Self-Sabotage

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Ever consider that feeling “the blues” occurs because there are things that you have to get done, but you just don’t know where to begin? Think about it. It makes sense that depression can incubate and later develop from self-defeating behaviors. Depression isn’t as obvious as some people think; it can creep up slowly after weeks, even months of poor choices. This can make us feel defeated and unaccomplished.

Procrastination and perfectionism go hand in hand. They are the mother and father of the child called self-sabotage. One might boast that they are “perfectionists,” but before you let your ego get the better of you, being a “perfectionist” is nothing to be proud of and a habit that ought to be broken. Being a perfectionist can rob you of joy, because nothing you do is perfect enough, and often times nothing that other people do is perfect enough, either. How hard we are on ourselves is often how hard we are on other people and those we love.

Pay attention to how critical you are of others, the way you judge them and the words you use. Determine if the critical words you chose to assault others with (an acquaintance, co-worker, family member, partner, or loved one) are perhaps targeted at yourself. Ever heard of projection? No, this isn’t hokey psychological babble. Hyper criticism can destroy others confidence while equally saying a lot about your current state of self-acceptance, love, and level of self esteem.

How long have you put off something that needs to be done? Is it because you are so worried about making everything perfect that it immobilizes you? Perfectionism can be a huge energy drainer. It can cause you to never accomplish your dreams because, no matter how hard you try, you think the results will never be perfect. There is no such thing as perfection. That is what you need to get in your head right now and understand. When you get over the silly concept of perfection, you are one step closer to overcoming procrastination and finally accomplishing your goals. Trying to be perfect is a way that we make our goals so unattainable and impossible to reach. This is our way of sabotaging ourselves, because maybe we believe deep inside that we are not worthy of happiness or worthy of attaining our dreams.

Know right now that you are perfect with all of your imperfections. Also know that you can start, and no it isn’t necessary to take huge steps. Some people run up the stairs, skipping 2-3 steps. You don’t need longer legs and you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete and no it isn’t necessary to take such titanic leaps. It may work for some people. There are those that really do think big, take huge risks and make some impressive moves in their lives without thinking twice about it. But, behind all of those stories are the little details they don’t tell you. Some people want you to believe that they did it all themselves without help or that they just worked really hard and became a billionaire without any sort of assistance. A lot of “miracle” stories omit very important details. These can be invaluable mentors, investors backing a business, a trust fund started when the person was a baby, access to the “movers and shakers” of their industry, the kind of access that not everyone has. You get the point.

All I am saying here is that there is always more to a story. Some highly successful people do not share how they got to where they are, while some people come from nothing and do it all themselves. But, there is usually two, three, four, five sides or more to a person’s story. Just like a magician doesn’t indulge their secrets, some highly successful entrepreneurs, actors, directors, authors, etc., won’t divulge fully all the juicy little secrets to how they got to where they are today. Even if they give you 95% of the truth, they might still be leaving out that one important step. Even those that seem to have a perfect life have struggles or have real issues they don’t always reveal.

The point is that it’s perfectly fine to take huge risks and, yeah, it’s okay to want everything to be exact. Who wishes for disaster? Who wants imperfection? Who wants a 3.0 GPA when they can have a 4.0? Who says to themselves, “You know what, I really want a mediocre life.” One thing to keep in mind when setting out toward any goal is to keep it simple and break down the larger goals into smaller obtainable, realistic steps, steps that you can manage.

By ridding yourself of this notion to be perfect, the pressure is removed and you might find that you no longer have the need to put off that very important project. Instead, you’ll taking the necessary steps towards your dream. The hardest part really is in the starting. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to reach your goals. Once you start taking small steps and start saying goodbye to self-sabotage, you are that much closer to realizing all that you can be.


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