Freedom from rules

One way to relax your rules is to create experiments aimed at doing things less than perfectly, that is, just doing well enough rather than to the standard you might like to achieve.

 

In order to overcome perfectionism you have to be willing, at least to some degree, to accept not being completely satisfied with your performance. Learning to accept in a positive way that your performance cannot always be perfect, even with your best efforts, helps create a balance in your life and how you spend your time. 

Take the following example

Maggie is a 32 year old receptionist who takes great pride in her appearance.

She tries to appear immaculate all the time, even on weekends, and believes she will be judged critically if she has not attended to her hair, make-up, clothes, and weight.

She seeks reassurance from the attention her appearance brings and the comments people make about her outfits.

She spends around 2 hours each morning making herself look 'presentable'.

She also carries a pocket mirror at all times in case she needs to touch up her hair or make-up.

Maggie's rules

I must always...

Make the bed each morning

Wash my clothes after I've worn them once

Apply perfume and deodorant twice daily

Shower in the morning and last thing at night 

Carry mints in my bag

Avoid all foods with garlic or onion

Eat less than 1,500 calories a day 

Check my waist each time I pass a mirror

Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day 

Pay at least 5 compliments to people I interact with 

Walk 6,000 steps a day

Do something to 'better' myself each day

Download the following example to see how Maggie is able to challenge her perfectionism about her appearance.

Now it's your turn. Choose a rule of your own and conduct an experiment to challenge that rule.