Perfectionists are their own worst enemies. If you identify as a perfectionist, then you know that you have the ability to perform at a higher level than most people.
Unfortunately, your performance comes at a cost. You're often experiencing high levels of stress that impact all other areas of your life.
You may choose to be perfect in your career and then have to spend extra time repairing the relationships that you sacrifice for excellent workplace performance. You may have an unrelenting inner voice that perpetually tells you to work harder, but that same voice may tell you that your effort is never good enough.
Most perfectionists also experience burnout--feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted to such an extent that they don't want to continue.
Don't allow the world to take the wind out of your sails--start replenishing your energy and living a better life.
Here are ten ways for perfectionists to sustain their drive and get more out of life:
1. Create more realistic personal goals and expectations.
Recognize that you are already enough and you don't need to be perfect to continue making progress towards your goals.
By setting more realistic goals, you'll eliminate excess energy that would go towards attempting the impossible, and have a more balanced lifestyle.
2. Challenge your inner critic and dispute negative thoughts.
Don't let your motivation be the cause of your demise. It's important to use healthy rewards and positive feedback to achieve your goals rather than allowing your inner voice to reek havoc on your emotional wellbeing.
Turn down the volume on that negativity, amplify your intuition, and allow positivity and love to propel you on the road to success and fulfillment.
3. Prioritize self care and invest in yourself.
Put on your own gas mask before trying to help the person next to you. Engage in therapy, re-connect with that old hobby, and continue reading so that you can take better care of yourself and others.
4. Practice saying no more often.
Perfectionists often struggle with saying no to new opportunities due to their high ambition, however, setting healthy boundaries is the very thing that leads to sustainable energy.
Stop taking on extra tasks that aren't directly related to your passion so that you can invest in your own wellbeing and continue working on what truly matters.
5. Remember that time off is not time wasted.
It's easy to look at relaxation as a waste of time when you're in the mindset of an overachieving perfectionist. However, it's important to remember that sleeping and engaging in light-hearted activities is a healthy and necessary way of refreshing your motivation.
Practice taking time to relax and recharge your batteries so that you can continue pursuing your dreams.
6. Trust that it will all get done in time.
You have what it takes to complete any task--you've been doing it your whole life. Even if it means staying up all night and putting yourself through hell, you know that you'll finish a project and it'll be spotless by the time you're done.
Use that knowledge to feel more secure when you get overwhelmed--there's no reason to panic when your history indicates that you'll persevere.
7. Schedule breaks and recharge.
Instead of thinking, "I'll take some time off when it feels right," go the extra step and schedule relaxation. Chances are, you're probably a Type A personality who needs to prioritize self-care or it won't ever happen.
Imagine what your life would look like if you gave relaxation even half the effort you put into other endeavors.
8. Take a weekend vacation to get away.
There's nothing quite like leaving town and spending time in new environments. When you travel to new areas, you energetically cleanse yourself and dump the emotional and mental baggage that comes from working too hard for too long in the same surroundings.
9. Stop wasting your time by multitasking.
You think that you're the exception to the multitasking rule, but you're not. Stop trying to do so many things at the same time--it not only wastes energy, decreases efficiency, and disrupts memory, it also creates more stress--something you already have.
Start practicing meditation and allow that presence of mind to stay with you throughout the day.
10. Practice not holding others to your same standard.
When everything you do is perfect, it's easy to fall into the trap of expecting others to execute at that same level. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, the rest of the world isn't wired like you.
The sooner you can adjust your expectations, the more quickly you'll get rid of your headache.