Why it’s not always good to call yourself a perfectionist


“A perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.”  

This definition is courtesy of Google.

For years, I struggled with mental health issues before I worked hard and became stable on my mental health recovery journey.  I like to call myself a “recovering perfectionist”.

I refer to myself a “recovering perfectionist” because in many situations that I found myself in, every detail, and circumstance had to be perfect; even pristine in my mind before I could even think about acting or making a move.  I would never in a million years start on a task when all the variables were not up to standard.

Here is the thing about this situation, perfectionism was a mask for my fear.

 I was afraid of what people would say, if potential customers would buy from me, or if I would even produce work that I was proud of.   I tried to make the blow less harsh by packaging it up and calling myself a “perfectionist” so that I would not have to face that fact that I was scared to death to do anything that exposed myself and my talents to the world.

 I needed constant reassurance and did not trust myself.

Being a perfectionist was ruining my life and shattering my dreams.  

I was so fearful and afraid that I made the word perfectionist my crutch for so many years.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do take great care in my work and presentation.

I do like for things to look a certain way, but I am okay with trying my hardest and doing the very best that I can.  My keen eye and strong attention to detail will not allow me to produce subpar work.

I am no longer a perfectionist, nor do I have the desire to call myself one. It represents my fear and inactivity and I want to be as far away from fear as I possibly can.

These days, I am much more content with producing the best work that I can and listening to my intuition.  

When I stop to listen to myself, I get many of the answers and direction that I need. There is no room for fear.  


Here are a couple of things that I did to overcome the perfectionist in me.

1.      Listen to myself.  It may sound like a simple thing, but I take time to be still.  I find that when I take to sit with myself, I get many answers (that I may not even be looking for).

2.      Do my best. I know the quality of my work.  I produce high quality work, so I know that when I create something it will be my best effort.  I take great pride in knowing that. I can be okay with saying “I did my best”.

3.      Just do it.  When I have an idea to I feel like I am called to do something, now I just go for it before I talk myself out of it and I like for 85 excuses for why I cannot do it and why it cannot be done.

4.      Don’t beat myself up.  I am learning on how to be more forgiving and gentler with myself.  I no longer beat myself up when something does not work or comes out not as I expected to.  I just tell myself, that it will be okay, and I must keep it moving.

These are just a few of the ways that I was able to combat the inner perfectionist that was ruining my life.  

I am so glad that I was able to kick that behavior to the curb. I have noticed such a big change in life and in my business since I have done so.  I hope that these tips will help you.

By Andrienne Kennedy

For more information on mental health, mental illness and wellness please visit IG @beautifulbraincollective or www.beautifulbraincollective.com

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