1. List advantages and disadvantages of perfectionism. For example one advantage to start off with might be  “I get huge satisfaction from completing jigh quality work”. Disadvantages to the list might be “I procrastinate when I perceive I can’t meet my standards of work” or “I am self-critical” or “I avoid risks and new things”.
  2. The perfectionist – or the person who has to get everything just right – is guaranteed to feel like a failure. This is because having unrelenting high standards means they cannot be achieved all the time; instead of changing the standards, the person concludes they did not work hard enough, or they may give up altogether – be aware of this cycle, the harmful costs to self-esteem and aim for realistic and achievable tasks
  3. Behind perfectionism are deep-seated, unrecognised fears and needs, such as the fear of disappointing others, the fear  of losing control, or the need for constant approval. Think about your childhood and explore where these traits might have come from.
  4. Set time limits for tasks and keep to them. Instead of saying “I’m going to tidy the house” and taking two hours, try saying “I’ve got half an hour to tidy the house; that means five minutes on each room”.
  5. Perfectionist compulsions like checking things to make sure they’re right are addictive habits which need to be resisted and broken. Deliberately leave something not quite right and try to ‘sit with’ that anxiety. The challenge is to ‘ride the wave’ until the anxiety passes – use strategies for coping such as breathing skills, positive distraction, and coping mantras eg ‘its just anxiety, it will pass.’
  6. Make a deliberate attempt to disclose to others one of your weaknesses. Treat this as a challenge – dare to be average and admit it! This is a positive step at facing your fears and being more realistic with yourself and others.
  7. Stop! Learn to savour and enjoy the moment – rather than always focusing on the end result