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Wanna be more productive and stop overthinking everything? Well, I have a treat for you: 22 positive affirmations for perfectionism that will help you become more efficient!
Being a perfectionist sometimes means putting a ton of work into something but hardly getting anything done. Because there is no such thing as absolute perfection, and there is no specific point where you can stop and be satisfied with the result.
This list of positive affirmations is created specifically for perfectionists who wish to overcome the struggle and be more result-oriented. Whether you are a professional, a student, a busy mom, a creator, or just someone with lots of projects to manage, you’ll definitely benefit from the power of these anti-perfectionism affirmations!
Where perfectionism comes from
In most cases, perfectionism has roots in your childhood. If someone constantly put a ton of pressure on you in the form of high expectations, and your worth was defined by your achievements, it’s no wonder you became a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is often based on the feeling of self-doubt and not being good enough. So you question your abilities and push yourself to do better even when you get positive feedback and appreciation. You hardly believe it when people say good things about your performance and dismiss the genuine compliments.
Other than high expectations, your perfectionism can also be encouraged by different internal fears. Whether it’s the fear of judgement, the fear of failure (or even success!), or some other related fear you have inside, it might lead you to think that you aren’t doing enough. But what is enough, really?..
If you are a perfectionist, you know the struggle…
Okay, believe me, I’m just like you, and I need to keep my own perfectionism under control all the time.
Of course, it does not always work…
Just last week I made 15 variations of a design for my client – only to see that he really loves the first one! So I could have only made one and gone to do something else instead of coming up with 14 more ideas. Or stop at 3 variations just to give my client some options. So why did I continue up to 15 (and had to tell myself to actually stop at 15)? The only answer is: Perfectionism.
Okay, I also love what I do and got a bit carried away in my creative process, but it’s not the point.
Deep inside I knew that it might be too much, but I was driven by a desire to make something even better than I already had.
Was I productive? Extremely. Was I efficient? Absolutely not.
Many of us have this inner feeling of not doing good enough, even when we are experienced professionals and great at what we do. This sneaky inner critic who keeps telling you things like:
- “Well, this was easy, you probably didn’t put enough effort”
- “Oh, nice work, but what if your boss hates it?”
- “Come on, is this all you got? I’m sure you can do better than that”
- …and so on.
The more you listen to that doubtful inner voice, the more time you waste on “improvements”.
But wait, can you really do anything about it? Why affirmations?
How affirmations can help overcome perfectionism
Positive affirmations help you build a healthier self-image that is rooted in self-care instead of self-doubt. They shift your focus from the process of perfecting things to the expected result that is realistically good enough.
By repeating positive affirmations for overcoming perfectionism, you build new strong neural connections in your brain based on self-love, efficiency, and kindness. You learn to accept yourself and your work for what it is and allow yourself to make mistakes and be imperfect.
In general, affirmations are meant to help you keep a positive mindset that encourages continuous growth instead of being stuck feeling “less than”.
Now, as we are all on the same page and understand the obvious benefits of perfectionist affirmations, let’s go straight to them!
22 Positive affirmations for perfectionism
Here are 22 positive statements you can gently introduce to your brain that will help you overcome perfectionism for good!
1. I am enough
As the root of your struggle for perfectionism lies in self-doubt, this is the first thing you should convince yourself of. You are enough, and your best is good enough! Don’t let your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs interfere with this affirmation. If they try to surface, just ignore them and keep repeating: “I am enough”.
2. I allow myself to be imperfect
When you subconsciously aim to always do and be the best, you are limiting yourself from actual growth. Self-improvement is an incremental process which means that you need to start somewhere and allow yourself to be imperfect so you can learn, improve, and do better next time.
3. Doing more work is not necessarily productive
As in that situation with the client I described above, doing more doesn’t always mean doing better. Keep in mind the end user of your work, and if that’s a client, try to see your results from their perspective instead of your own. Oftentimes people want a simple thing that does the trick, not a complex thing that does it perfectly.
4. I am doing my best, and my best is good enough
Always aim to do your best but don’t beat yourself up if your best if not as good as someone else’s. Comparison in healthy doses may be good if it motivates you to do the necessary work but not when it gets you stuck and overwhelmed with low self-esteem.
While using all these affirmations for perfectionism, if you feel the need to compare yourself, compare only with your previous self. This way you’ll see the growth and the progress which will raise your vibration and motivate you to continue!
Do your best, accept that it’s enough, move on to the next task, and you’ll soon notice that your best gets even better over time.
5. Done is always better than perfect
This is one of my favorite perfectionist affirmations! If you have a list of things to do, and you keep perfecting the first one, you’ll never get to do the rest. Instead, aim to cross everything off as done, and if you have time and something still calls for improvement, you can go back to it. But more often than not, when you look at it with fresh eyes, you realize that it’s actually good enough already and you don’t need to waste any more time on it.
I guess the main idea here is to value your time and not waste it on anything that won’t be recognized or appreciated.
6. There is always room for improvement
Remember that there is no such thing as perfect. Even when you reach your point of perfection, you might look back at it a few years later and see the flaws. Just because you’ll be more experienced, or have a fresh perspective, or simply your values change and another aspect of the project becomes more important to you.
There is always room for improvement but not everything needs to be constantly improved. Get your project to the point of being done and let it sit for a while. If it still needs more input when you come back, you can put more time into it. But if it’s already looking good or working as expected, maybe it’s time to let the world see it and move on to something else.
7. I won’t let my perfectionism stall my growth
Making a step forward is more important than infinitely perfecting things at the current stage. With this affirmation, let’s try to reduce perfectionism and prevent it from stalling your progress!
8. I am not defined by my achievements
Having your worth tied directly to the things you accomplish basically makes you feel worthless when you don’t have anything outstanding to be proud of. This is not a healthy way to think about yourself. Know your worth as an internal force that comes from you and is not dependent on external recognition.
Don’t focus solely on the destination! Enjoy the journey, and appreciate every bit of work you manage to put along the way, as they all contribute to your actual achievements.
9. I deserve to be loved without being perfect
If this saying doesn’t come naturally, you can probably thank your parents for that. But don’t worry, there aren’t many negative thinking patterns a powerful affirmation can’t fix!
You don’t need to be something, achieve something, or be in any way perfect in order to be loved. You are perfectly suitable for love just as you are. You were born to be loved, and you don’t need to prove it in any way.
10. I should save my energy for really important stuff
All the time you pour into a task after the point of actually finishing it is the time you could have used in a more meaningful way. Whether to spend quality moments with your loved ones or just spare a few minutes for mindfulness practice, there are plenty of great things you can rather put your energy into.
Recognize the moment when enough is enough, and find a better use of your time, for everyone’s sake.
11. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help
There is never anything wrong with asking for help. If it’s about your job and you got stuck, taking advice from a colleague might help you solve the problem faster. If it’s about your mental health, talking to a professional will make it easier to cope and heal.
You don’t have to be perfect and know everything! Sometimes overcoming perfectionism might simply mean accepting that you need help and asking for it. It may be that you just need a fresh set of eyes to look at the problem, and it’s smaller than you think!
12. Progress, not perfection
For every struggling perfectionist, this mantra should become a life motto.
Making progress and going forward with your project is much more important than perfecting the first phase. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress, and don’t forget to praise yourself for everything you’ve done so far!
13. My health is more important than my performance
Actually, your performance is in direct relationship with your health.
Being in a constant state of stress, anxiety, or sleep deprivation can easily lead to sickness. This may range from lowering immunity that makes you vulnerable to random viruses to getting all kinds of chronic issues that can easily ruin your daily life.
Don’t pressure yourself into illness! Remember to dedicate time to healthy habits and self-care and never sacrifice your health for work.
14. I know my priorities
When you have a lot on your plate, the first key to handling it and not going crazy is being crystal clear with your priorities.
Learn to differentiate important tasks versus urgent and non-important (look up the Eisenhower Matrix if you aren’t familiar with this approach). Write it all down whenever you need to clear your head! Repeat this perfectionism affirmation a few times every day and especially when you get unnecessarily fixated on one particular task.
15. Perfectionism is not efficient
I know what it means to take pride in being a perfectionist. I am also guilty of thinking that I’m always aiming for perfection and expecting the same from others. Needless to say, I got disappointed a lot in my life by people who did not meet my perfectionist expectations.
First of all, we need to realize that perfectionism may be productive, but it’s not always efficient. And depending on what you are doing, it might be a big issue that stops you from getting your project finished.
Stop for a moment and look back at all that time you wasted already on unnecessary improvements! Don’t blame yourself, just accept it and move forward keeping efficiency in mind at all times.
16. People like me for me
If people are only there for you when you are a big achiever and on top of the world, maybe it’s not the people you should keep close to. Good friends are always supporting you, they love you for who you are, not for what you accomplished.
I included this into my list of positive affirmations for perfectionists because our desire to be likable and to be good enough for others is a common reason for perfectionism.
If people don’t like you for you, they don’t deserve you. Don’t waste your time and effort trying to please them.
17. I perfect my skills in the process
Finishing many different tasks and projects in a less-than-perfect way gives you a much more useful experience than being stuck on the same thing and improving it over and over again.
You don’t become a good musician by learning one chord perfectly and only playing it forever. You play all kinds of songs, develop your sense of hearing, and continue to improve your skills by practicing different things.
Your current understanding of perfect is very subjective, and you’ll look at it differently anyway after years of practice. So let yourself grow, make mistakes, fix them, move on to the next project, and improve in the process.
18. Sometimes simply good is enough
It’s important to know when perfection is necessary, and when it’s a ridiculous overhead.
Vera Wang might want every inch of her dress to be immaculate, but for a homeless person, the fact of having clothes is already good enough. How is it for a perspective?
Look at your work from a perspective of a client, and see if it fits the requirements. If it does, it’s good enough, and no need to waste more time making it look better.
19. I am allowed to make mistakes
Be gentle to yourself! 99,99% of the time, your mistake doesn’t mean the end of the world. The world doesn’t depend on you getting this thing exactly right (unless you work with bio-hazardous materials or something, in that case, by any means, keep being a perfectionist!).
You are human, and humans make mistakes. But the good thing is that we can also fix them, and learn from them! Don’t be afraid to fail at something, it’s actually the only way you learn.
20. Nobody really cares if it’s perfect or not
In most cases, you are the only one to know the difference. Unless you specifically mention it, nobody will know that you had spent extra hours or even days on the project.
And if nobody cares, why should you care?
21. I need rest to stay healthy
A portrait of an average perfectionist (can I even word it like that?) usually involves working overtime, restless nights full of anxiety, and neglecting healthy habits in favor of getting work done.
Research shows that including time for resting is strategically important for having good productivity and enough creative energy for day-to-day projects. It’s an essential part of staying healthy and maintaining good levels of performance over longer periods of time.
22. Each my mistake is a growth opportunity
Instead of feeling guilty for not doing something 100% right, welcome mistakes as opportunities to grow and improve. As you do something wrong and successfully fix it, you’ll learn something new and get some practical experience that can only be picked up in the process.
Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career, and he wouldn’t be where he is now without all those mistakes. Keep a growth mindset and make sure to go back and try again when you miss, but allow yourself to miss! Without failures, the feeling of success wouldn’t be so sweet.
Final thoughts on affirmations for perfectionists
Using perfectionism affirmations on a daily basis is a great way to overcome your perfectionism! It may not go away forever but you’ll learn to handle your perfectionism so that it doesn’t affect your life as much and doesn’t stop you from growing and making progress.
When you know your worth and focus on results, you won’t be overthinking everything too much and questioning whether you are good enough or not. You’ll just know.
So go ahead, repeat these positive affirmations for perfectionists, and start living with this new feeling of freedom, because you are allowed to be imperfect and make mistakes!
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