Last week we tried to define perfection. But let’s face it – perfection is unachievable, plain and simple. Striving for perfection can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, stress, and at its most extreme suicidal thoughts.

And if that’s not enough, here are some more reasons why you should let it go:

  1. It frees up your time. When you’re not obsessing about making your body perfect or your project perfect, you have more time to spend on other things.
  2. You’ll feel better. You’ll have less stress which can cause depression, insomnia or other physical problems, from weight gain to high blood pressure.
  3. You’ll begin to enjoy life more. (And a bonus side effect? The people around you will be happier too!).
  4. Letting go of perfection lets you make mistakes. Mistakes you can learn from.
  5. The universe is inherently chaotic. Control what you can and accept the rest.
  6. Accepting imperfection allows you to grow. Trying to be perfect keeps you stagnant.
  7. You’ll start to accept yourself as the way you are. This is the practice of self-compassion.
  8. Embracing imperfection allows you to examine your fears.

I like to do a three-step examination of what’s causing my fear. It goes something like this:

  1. Name the basic fear.
  2. What’s behind that fear? Keep narrowing it down until you get to the core of the fear.
  3. What would happen if you failed? Would it cause a major catastrophe?

Here are 3 ways you can let go of perfection:

  • Change any negative self-talk. Critical self-talk only reinforces perfectionism.
  • Practice self-compassion. Being compassionate with yourself helps you accept that you’ll make mistakes and you’ll be more able to learn from them.
  • Spend time examining your goals and expectations. Are they attainable? If not, change them or break them down into smaller action steps if you need to.

Letting go of perfection allows you to really become a happier person. You become free to pursue what you want to make your life successful, whether that’s in your profession, your relationships, as a parent, or as a person.

It all boils down to this. Trying to be perfect is exhausting. It puts you in a static, never-ending struggle. But when you accept imperfection, you can see your progress and keep moving forward.

What to do next?

Let go of trying to be perfect. That’s it.