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5 Steps to Overcome The Fear of Giving Up Perfectionism

Overcome Fear Giving Up Perfectionism

4. Connect with emotions long suppressed. 

Perfectionists don’t like to think about messy things, and especially avoid feeling messy emotions. You can have trauma and loss in your life that you’ve never connected with, or in fact, rigidly suppressed. It’s hard to do, and you may need a therapist’s help to do so. 

But as Terrance Real once wrote, “If you don’t feel it, you live it.” This is very true; ignoring emotions doesn’t make them go away. They continue to lurk in the background and do affect your life

5. Then risk change.  

The process is all about learning from mistakes and being motivated by successes. I’ve laughed reading some of my first blog posts; I went through a period when I thought sentence fragments were very cool. One commenter on the Huffington Post called me out on it, “This woman can’t even make a full sentence.” She was right; I was learning and I’ll probably look back five years from now and laugh at what I’m doing today.

But the learning is worth the risk. And seeing yourself change is where you can find hope. 

And remember, learning and healing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.

Related: 9 Signs You Might Be Perfectionistic

Pulling out of the perfectionist spiral is a process; and one that is particularly difficult precisely because you’re a perfectionist. You don’t have to be perfect and not being perfect…again, it’s a journey. Allow yourself this opportunity to imperfectly practice giving up perfectionism.

Check out Dr. Margaret Rutherford’s best-selling book, Perfectly Hidden Depression on Amazon.

Written By Dr. Margaret Rutherford  
Originally Appeared On Dr. Margaret Rutherford  
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5 Steps to Overcome The Fear of Giving Up Perfectionism
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Dr. Margaret R Rutherford

Dr. Margaret Rutherford, a clinical psychologist, has practiced for twenty-six years in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Earning the 2009 Arkansas Private Practitioner of the Year award for her volunteer work at a local free health clinic, she began blogging and podcasting in 2012 to destigmatize mental illness and educate the public about therapy and treatment. With her compassionate and common-sense style, her work can be found at, as well as HuffPost, Psych Central, Psychology Today, The Mighty, The Gottman Blog and others. She hosts a weekly podcast, The SelfWork Podcast with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. And her new book, Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that Masks Your Depression, is published by New Harbinger and available at Amazon, Barnes, and Noble or your local bookstore.View Author posts