5 Ways to calm your perfectionism

5 ways to calm your perfectionism


Perfectionism. It’s a term I didn’t apply to myself until I began writing about it.

As I read about perfectionism and the way it affects people I saw myself in ways I hadn’t before. It was upsetting.

I read many negative side-effects to perfectionism and that only increased my anxiety.

I needed to calm down.

Perfectionism is an inner law that’s unrealistic and demanding. If it’s allowed free rein in our lives it’ll wreak havoc on our nerves, our bodies, and our relationships.

I needed to find ways and I did.

Here are 5 ways you can calm your perfectionism too.



The first thing I had to do to calm mine, I had to accept the truth that it was there. Perfectionism was running amok inside me and it needed to be stopped.

I had to accept the truth that it was a problem. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t call it a problem.


Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order. ― Anne Wilson Schaef


You can’t solve a problem if you don’t call it a problem. Click To Tweet



Recognizing you have perfectionist thoughts and behaviors doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life. That is a lie.

I had to look at the term perfectionism as a term to describe instead of a label to confine. The truth is I can do something about this.


The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. Anna Quindlen


Recognizing you have perfectionist thoughts & behaviors doesn’t have to define you. Click To Tweet



To calm my body, mind, and emotions I took my own advice from my article How to find your quiet.

I sat myself down, put my phone on airplane mode, set my timer for 3 minutes and ushered myself into the quiet. I emerged much calmer.


Perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life-paralysis. ― Brené Brown



It’s funny that we need to do that—remember we’re only human. Perfection is to be free from all flaws. Humans are flawed. We’re not capable of perfection.

We are capable of high quality. Striving for that instead is a better choice.


There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness. ― Shannon L. Alder



What are you doing that the perfectionism is trying to highjack? Perfectionism has an all or nothing mentality. I was either lost in the details or overwhelmed by wanting to be excessively comprehensive. Both are distracting and get in the way of accomplishing anything.

I had to simplify. I made myself look at what I was doing and identify what my desired result was. Then I was able to proceed.


If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. ― Ecclesiastes 11:4


What are you doing that the perfectionism is trying to highjack? Click To Tweet

This is the way I calmed down and completed this article.

Is it perfect? I doubt it but that’s ok.

Is it comprehensive? No.

Perfectionism is way too broad a subject to cover fully in one article.

What was my desired result? I wanted it to be simple and useful. I believe I accomplished that.

What next

Did you find this simple and useful?

Do you have a copy of my personal declaration Dare to Believe that empowers you to be human?

  • If so—start reading it out loud to yourself every day.
  • If not get it here.

How have you struggled with perfectionism?

Spread the calm around and share this article.


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12 thoughts on “5 ways to calm your perfectionism

  1. Great advice, Danielle. I really liked “I had to look at the term perfectionism as a term to describe instead of a label to confine.”

    That is something Shawn Stevenson often talks about without health. Don’t let something you have be who you are. For example, Shawn Stevenson says to not say “I’m diabetic,” but instead say, “I have diabetes.” Rather than just resolving to _being_ a perfectionist,”recognizing you have perfectionist thoughts and behaviors” and not letting it define who you are.

    I love it!

    1. Thank you, Shayne.
      That line came about as I processed my strong tendency to refuse labels because they make me feel trapped. I refuse to be trapped (as evidenced in my article How to use your NO to change your life)

      I saw perfectionist as a label so I refused it accept it. But refusing to accept the truth was hurting me.

      So I had to process that sometimes labels are helpful and need to be embraced in some capacity. I remembered that recently I’ve accepted the truth that I have strong introvert tendencies in me and it’s been helpful for proper self-care.

      I saw the freedom was in how I used the word, how I applied it to myself.

      I agree with Shawn Stevenson. That’s wise advice.

      I’m glad you loved it – Thanks for sharing!!

      1. Excellent point. I wrote about that once, about being realistic about your current situation. I mentioned being realistic vs. making false or empty affirmations, but it certainly applies to denying something as well.

        Don’t even get me started on Kierkegaard and labels. 🙂

        Shout out to Søren Kierkegaard!

        (That’s a Shawn Stevenson reference.)

  2. Danielle, this post hit Home for me. My entire life I have been called a perfectionist. I never understood why. I feel more inclined to say that I am thorough about what I do. However, I to can feel anxious when certain things are not up to snuff. Not always, only at times. Ive been given other labels tho.

    1. That’s wonderful, John. I’m glad it spoke to you. Being thorough is a good quality. The problem comes in when that anxiety gets in the way of progress.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Thank you for writing this helpful article. As a writer, the way I deal with perfectionism is to remind myself that perfection isn’t real. When I read news and literature, what I often perceive to be logic flaws, fallacies, or untruths gets me thinking “how can we do better?” When I see a crack in an otherwise perfect vase or a tear in a painting, I think “Now that has a history. That has character.” Thanks again!

    1. You’re welcome, Krystal.
      Thank you for reading and sharing how you deal with perfectionism. It’s good to learn from each other.

Please share your thoughts!