How to harness your perfectionist super powers

The Happiness Explorer - By Lydia Kimmerling

This is for all of the perfectionists out there. Having worked to help put many perfectionists into perfectionism recovery, what I want to teach you is how you can use your perfectionism as a super power.

Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing — you have some amazing talents. Your eye for detail is insane, and you make things look so beautiful and you have that ‘they’ve got it all together vibe’ (although, I know that’s not always the truth).

You may also scrutinise yourself over every detail or hold yourself back from getting started with things because of the worry about what other people think about you. You don’t need me to tell you that that isn’t any fun. Trying to be perfect all of the time isn’t fun because it can make you feel trapped in your life.

It may also lead you to people pleasing and trying to second guess what everyone else wants or thinks is best, and you may try to be all things, to all people, at all times. I’m just exhausted saying that! It doesn’t have to be this exhausting.

As I mentioned earlier, you are extremely talented in a way that, to be honest, as someone who is not a perfectionist, makes me jealous. I wish I had such an eye for detail and had the drive to make something it’s best. I’m much more of a throw-it-out-there kinda gal. But every side of the coin has its luck and here’s how to harness yours. Your first step is to figure out what qualities perfectionism gives you. Once you know these qualities, you will know when you need them or want to use them — keep these!

Now ask yourself: what am I not receiving in my life because of my desire to be perfect? Think about what you want in your life. Maybe your desire to be perfect is holding you back from getting more followers because you scrutinise over every post you want to put out. Or it’s holding you back from finding a partner because you won’t publish your online profile until you have better photos. Or it’s stopping you from getting the time you need to relax because the fear of not being good enough means that you take much longer to get things done.

The part of your perfectionism that isn’t serving you is when it is driven by fear. All of the above examples show this. For perfectionism to work for you and become a super power, it must changes gears and shift out of fear and into faith.

This sounds like, “I trust that I am good enough and that my work is good enough. It is complete (or I am complete) and I can go forward.” When it’s from fear it sounds like, “I’m not sure it’s there yet or if it’s good enough or if people will like it.” When you use perfectionism as your super power it will accelerate you forward, but when it’s programmed into fear it will hold you back. So harness your superpowers and create the magic you were born to make and remember it’s not all bad, there are many of us (including me) admiring your work from the sidelines.

Do you think you will give this a go? Let Lydia Kimmerling know how you get on, she’d love to hear from you on Instagram @lydiakimmerling

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.