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Here comes the holidays...and out comes our perfectionism

The holidays are prime time for our perfectionism to go into overdrive.

There is so much to do and plan, so many people to make happy, so many opportunities to feel like we need to show up as our “perfect” selves.

For my fellow perfectionists, I offer 3 approaches for your consideration as you start turning your attention to the busy season ahead:

→ Use the holidays as an opportunity to build awareness of your perfectionism. What does it feel like when you default to a perfectionist approach? What do you notice in your body? What conditions trigger it? Developing greater awareness of our perfectionist tendencies is half the battle when it comes to moving past them. Can you try reframing the stressors of this season as an opportunity to start the process of better spotting these patterns when they arise?

→ Our black-and-white thinking as perfectionists often causes us to take otherwise positive qualities to an extreme. Over the holidays, does your meticulous approach manifest in trying to control every last detail of the cooking process, driving stress through the house? Does your helpful nature cause you to not ask for what you need during this season as you work so hard to ensure everyone else’s needs are met? Does your preference for analysis show up in trying to perfect every gift, leaving you to scramble at the last minute? Catch yourself in moments when you’re taking these otherwise positive characteristics to their natural extremes, and ask yourself what it would look like to take a more moderated approach instead, to not engage in “overdoing.”

→ Turn to a list of 2-3 actions you can reliably take to jumpstart yourself into a different mindset when you feel yourself falling into perfectionist patterns – or when you catch yourself taking otherwise positive qualities to an extreme. My top three actions include a brief outdoor walk, listening to a playlist I have for this purpose, and sending a silly GIF to my husband that reflects my mood and helps me take things a little less seriously.

Which of these approaches will work for you? We'd love to hear your reactions or how it goes as you put these strategies into action!

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