Perfectionism, and how to deal with it

Oksana Bulgaru
3 min readFeb 15, 2022
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I always thought of myself as a perfectionist, ever since I started going to school. All the homework is done, and a job well done was the only reason to be proud of me. Even nowadays, being a freelancer, the painful desire for perfection still haunts me.

Perfectionism is an attempt to isolate yourself from the criticism of those around you. Back in the days, I thought the criticism was perceived not as a useful response, but as an attack. I tried to do everything so perfectly that there was nothing to complain about — whether it’s housework or school homework. I was afraid to disappoint parents, teachers, depending on the opinion of others. You know how they say when someone spends 80–90% of time working and doesn’t know how to relax — that sounds very familiar to me.

Over time, I realized that perfectionism, which grows into workaholism, prevents me from living life to the fullest. And I decided it was time to deal with it. While I was controlling my desire for the perfect result, I deviated from the path of finding a balance between life and work. The most important thing that I realized is that the only person to whom I owe something is myself.

Photo by Sandra Martins on Unsplash

Here are five things I do to help me be imperfect, and you can try them as well.

1.No one really cares about how perfect your project is. It is better to do it well than to break down and do it perfectly. The important part is the result, no matter how much time it took to redo.

2. Take it easier on minor mistakes, whether you made them or someone else. It’s all about acceptance.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

3. Remind yourself that change doesn’t happen suddenly. Perfectionism doesn’t allow us to accept the imperfections of the world and the inability to change everything quickly. We should learn to let go of the situation once in a while. It’s hard, it hits the ego, but it’s worth it.

4. Don’t miss out on life in pursuit of opportunities. Perfectionism doesn’t let you enjoy life. I know I’m doing something great, and it’s thrilling, but life isn’t only about perfect results.

5. It’s worth thinking twice about whether this ephemeral approval of success and the buzz from it is important. Because when it comes to where you are burned out, people often tell you it wasn’t worth working that much and that hard and they’ll be right.



Oksana Bulgaru

Hello everyone. I’m a Ukrainian polyglot (10 languages) and a freelance translator. I love sharing my knowledge and ideas.