One thing I hear over-and-over again from people is that they’re afraid to fail.

They’re afraid of what others will think about them if they fumble towards their goals. They’re afraid to endure the pain of falling short or failing. And so, they make their fears their reality. They stop short on realizing their goals or don’t take action in the first place.

I certainly have feared failure. And my fear has, at times, paralyzed me.

If you’ve experience this, then you know how much it sucks.

Sometimes fear of failure is rooted in perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionists never feel good enough. When they realize they’ve made a mistake, it’s enough to take them down into a place of self-criticism and self-shame. Often times, this stops perfectionists from doing anything at all.

A perfectionist streak can hurt your health, career and relationships. This is because it exacerbates fears of failure so much so that you don’t reach for your goals at all. Compounding this is the internal judgment and negative dialog that’s part of the perfectionist’s tool box and are used as weapons against themselves for not achieving what they deeply want to achieve.

If you relate to this, there’s hope! You can change your perfectionist tendencies by embracing your limitations and failures. This isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes ongoing patience, but it can be learned.

Here are five things that you can do to become less of a perfectionist.

    1. Stop performing: Do you find yourself making everything polished and perfect? Does everyone think you’re amazing – all the time? It can be great to be amazing. But know what’s even better? Being liked for who you really are! Instead of perfection, aim for genuine.
    2. Lean into your mistakes: If you’re screwing up, let yourself screw up. It can even be fun. Take it from me – a self-professed serious person. Make a point of not taking YOURSELF to seriously.
    3. See your mistakes as opportunities: There is something to be gained from every time we fail. How can you turn the coal of your moment into a diamond?
    4. Give credit to and enjoy your strengths and limitations: A funny thing happens when you embrace either your strengths or limitations – you become better able to embrace its opposite. This means you increasingly step into your full self.
    5. See it as a gift: When you’re willing to accept your limitations, everyone around you breathes a bit easier. This is because when you accept your shortcomings, you create an environment of love and acceptance that helps helps everyone around you heal themselves.

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