Recovering Perfectionist? Me Too.

Are you a perfectionist? I am Type A. I’m an Enneagram 1. I love my planner, fresh sheets, organized spaces, and when I say I have a list for everything… I mean everything.

Scheduling and de-cluttering brings me delight. I have been described as rigid, an overachiever, and some other not-so-kind things.

And it has taken me a long time to start to stray away from the axiom that perfect is right, good, best practice, and attainable. Let me just be clear – perfect is not a thing. Except maybe when you get a cup of coffee that has a cream to sugar to coffee ratio that makes your taste buds smile.

That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind as we continue to resist the pull of perfection:

5 Ways to Defeat Your Inner Perfectionist

  1. If you can admit that being perfect is an impossibility, then the only other option is imperfection.
  2. Though it is scary – letting go of perfectionism actually creates more room for happiness. Tell me about a time where striving to be perfect left you happy, fulfilled, and satisfied? Joy is messy, silly, chaotic, and spontaneous which are all inherently imperfect moments.
  3. Perfect does not equal good. You can have fun, joy, and love without perfection. You must. In fact, you probably already have it because as we have previously stated perfect is not a thing.
  4. Think of all the people you love and care for. Think of all their wonderful, quirky imperfections. Those we love the most can drive us the craziest with their antics.
  5. Do the thing! Perfectionism often causes paralyzing fear and procrastination. “If you can’t do it perfectly, why try at all?” Defy that perfectionistic inner critic and live your life anyway.
Examine where your drive to be “perfect” comes from.
  • Is it parental or authoritative pressure, or maybe impossible standards set forth by mass media?
  • Is it fear or shame? Who and what are you comparing yourself to that you believe is perfect?
  • What makes life meaningful?
  • Is it being perfect?
  • Or is it being connected, loved, and supported despite no, because of, the imperfection?

There is so much more beautiful life to live outside the walls of perfection. Organization and tidiness have their place. Hard work can also be fulfilling. But perfection is all-consuming; it suffocates creativity and stifles joy.

Take a peek at the possibilities outside the façade of perfection. Even those of us who pursue this elusive idea make mistakes, get hurt, and are occasionally wrong. Letting go of perfection allows you to be kinder to yourself. Remember, you are perfectly imperfect.


Jasmine is a Resident in Counseling and provides services at the Fredericksburg location. She is a two-time graduate of Longwood University, receiving her B.S. in Psychology along with an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Throughout her graduate studies, Jasmine worked with teens and adults who belonged to various minority and multicultural populations. She also has familiarity with a wide spectrum of mental health concerns including anxiety/depression, grief, moodiness, self-improvement, motivation, relationship issues, and many more. To learn more about Jasmine, visit HERE

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