"Perfectionism: How to Beat It and Live a More Fulfilling Life"


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 30, 2023

3 min read


"Perfectionism: How to Beat It and Live a More Fulfilling Life"


Perfectionism is a common trait that many individuals struggle with, often leading to stress, burnout, and dissatisfaction. The desire to do great work and achieve high standards is not the issue; it is the rigidity and unrealistic expectations that accompany perfectionism. In this article, we will explore the concept of perfectionism, its negative impact, and how to overcome it by understanding our values, developing flexibility, and embracing variability in our behavior.

Understanding Perfectionism:

Perfectionism can be defined as the intersection between excessively high standards and rigid adherence to those standards. The problem lies in the rigidity around these standards, which can lead to hyperfocus on achieving impossible goals, neglecting other responsibilities, and feeling unhappy even when objectively doing well. The antidote to perfectionism is not to abandon our rules entirely but rather to understand their purpose, recognize when they are helpful or detrimental, and be flexible in applying them.

The Role of Values:

To combat perfectionism, it is crucial to identify our values. Values serve as guideposts that direct the course of our lives and the qualities we want to embody. By aligning our actions with our values, we can navigate challenging circumstances and avoid being consumed by perfectionism. Unlike goals with fixed end dates, values provide intrinsic motivation and can be relied upon at all times.

The Power of Awareness:

Developing self-awareness is a powerful tool in overcoming perfectionism. By consistently practicing awareness, we gain the freedom to distance ourselves from our thoughts and emotions, a concept known as defusion. This detachment allows us to choose how we behave and enables us to reconnect with our values. Following our values introduces variability in our behavior, which fosters growth and learning.

Insights from "103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known":

Incorporating insights from various sources, including "103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known," we can deepen our understanding of perfectionism and its impact on our lives. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to help overcome perfectionism:

  • 1. Embrace the Power of Rest: Regularly schedule breaks, vacations, and time off. Understand that efficiency is not always the key to success; allowing yourself to relax and recharge is essential for optimal performance.
  • 2. Learn to Prioritize: Focus on consistency rather than quantity. Small actions done consistently yield greater results than occasional bursts of effort. By identifying what truly matters and dedicating time to it consistently, you can make significant progress.
  • 3. Foster Effective Communication: Invest in improving your communication skills. The ability to express yourself clearly and listen attentively is often more valuable than raw intelligence. Effective communication opens doors and enhances your ability to connect with others.


Perfectionism can hinder our growth, happiness, and overall well-being. By understanding our values, practicing flexibility, and embracing variability in our behavior, we can overcome perfectionism and lead more fulfilling lives. Remember, perfectionism is not about abandoning high standards but rather about finding a balance that allows us to thrive while staying true to ourselves. Let go of rigidity, embrace self-awareness, and prioritize what truly matters to create a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

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