If there was for a 12-step meeting for recovering perfectionists, I would be there. I’d be sitting in the front row, the first one to say, “Hi I’m Allison, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.”
Perfectionism is a word we throw around a lot, and over the years, it’s almost been turned into a positive. People use it synonymously with, “I’m a high achiever,” “I have high expectations,” and “I pay attention to details.” But these characterizations of perfectionism aren’t accurate. These definitions gloss over the rigidity involved in perfectionism. They mask the deep-rooted fear and insecurity. They fail to mention how paralyzing perfectionism can be.
Perfectionism keeps you stuck. It’s filled with self-doubt. And it keeps you from moving forward toward your dreams in any meaningful way. It isn’t something we should glorify or gloss over. It’s not a strength. It’s heavy and shaming, whispering that things aren’t good enough. That you aren’t good enough. And while perfectionism absolutely gets in the way of living a courageous and full life, there’s some good news.
You can change it. Just like any other habit, you can change it. You can rewire your brain and reshape how you think. There’s another way, and it’s a whole lot better than any level of perfect could ever be. If you’re ready to live a courageous life, here are 7 quotes about perfectionism to help you let go once and for all.
1. “The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first fifty times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that – a beginning. Surrender your desire to do it flawlessly on the first try. It’s not possible. Learn to learn. Learn to fail. Learn to learn from failing.” -Vironika Tugaleva
2. “Perfectionism is not a way to avoid shame. Perfectionism is a form of shame.” -Brené Brown
3. “At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.” -Michael Law
4. “Perfectionism and procrastination have such a fine line. You say, “Well I want it to be good. I want to be perfect.” But what you’re really doing is not doing your work. You’re putting off showing up and being visible because then you’re going to be judged, and it might suck.” -Jen Sincero
5. “Don’t let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started.” -Marilu Henner
6. “We must understand the need for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. No matter how many hours you spend to render something flawless, somebody will always be able to find fault with it.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
7. “When things are perfect, that’s when you need to worry most.” -Drew Barrymore
And as a bonus to these quotes about perfectionism, here’s one of my own personal mantras. I use it in moments when my perfectionism creeps up. When fear and doubt are whispering, “Don’t stop until it’s perfect.” It helps remind me to move forward with what I’ve got, even when it’s not perfect.
Do you struggle and stress about getting things just right? Which one of these quotes about perfectionism most speaks to you?