35 Positive Affirmations for Perfectionists

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Confession time: I have a handful of posts in my drafts right now, but I decided to focus on positive affirmations for perfectionists this week, because I straight up need them.

I am no stranger to the insidious nature of perfectionism.

The people closest to me have told me many times that I am my own worst critic.

I can’t tell you how many times I, as an artist, have scribbled over my work and crumpled it up in a fit of perfectionist-fueled rage.

It’s not good enough!

Thoughts of inadequacy would ricochet around in my brain.

Or, the deeper, more poisonous fear:

I’m not good enough!

Now, to be honest, I often feel a bit silly using affirmations. I know, I know – I’ve written half a dozen affirmations posts already, and now I’m saying I don’t even like affirmations?

Well, no, I never said I don’t like them. Just that they feel a bit silly sometimes.

But I am a believer in the power of words. Self-talk is so important. And as someone who’s dealt with perfectionism since early childhood, I can easily fall into the pit of talking down to myself.

Affirmations turn that around. Affirmations take a negative thought, and tell it to fuck off. They affirm our inherent worth and dignity, and help us learn to think more positively.

No, brain. I’m not worthless just because I didn’t draw The Perfect Eye. I’m not stupid just because I failed that Duolingo lesson. I’m not failing at life just because I’m not as successful as I perceive others to be. (Yes, my brain actually tells me these kinds of things… sound familiar?)

Silly as they may feel at times, I’m actually a big fan of affirmations, because they help me retrain my brain to think positively about myself.

I’m writing this post because I need it.

And I’m sharing it because maybe you do, too. ❤️

So, here are some positive affirmations for perfectionists.

Affirmations for Perfectionists

A branch of green leaves is missing a leaf in one spot, making it appear imperfect.
Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash

Pssst. New to positive affirmations? Check out this post for a quick guide on how to use them!

Let’s start out with some general affirmations for perfectionism.

  1. I view everything I do as a potential learning opportunity.
  2. I recognize that most people are not as hard on me as I am on myself. (Maybe I oughta give myself a break! 😉)
  3. Perfectionism is not inherent to human nature; I recognize that I took on perfectionism at some point in my childhood.
  4. I refuse to project my perfectionism onto others; I will not criticize others for not meeting my subjective standards.
  5. I recognize that perfection is subjective, and thus unachievable.
  6. I will not let perfectionism keep me from trying new things.
  7. Rather than berate myself for perceived shortcomings, I honor myself for my efforts.

Self Worth Affirmations for Perfectionists

Many of us picked up perfectionism at some point in childhood.

We may have colored a picture that we were proud of, and showed it to an adult we looked to for love and support.

And maybe that adult, rather than praising us for our work, merely pointed out that we were “coloring outside the lines”, or that “cats don’t look like that”, or, “Oh, great, you’ve made a mess!”

Or maybe they showed no interest in what we’d made at all, ushering us away so they could get back to what they were doing.

A child in a pink shirt and blue apron holds a painting sponge with pink paint on it.
Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash

That can do a number on a kid’s self worth!

And a lot of us carried that into adulthood.

This subconscious belief that if we just tried harder, did better, maybe we could make our parents proud.

Maybe if we were a bit more perfect, we’d be accepted, supported, appreciated, loved by others.

Here are some self worth affirmations to remind us that our worth is not dependent on achieving “perfection”.

  1. I am more than the perceived quality of what I do.
  2. My best is enough.
  3. I am enough.
  4. I don’t need to prove my worth to anyone, including myself.
  5. My perceived mistakes don’t make me unworthy in any way.
  6. I am worthy of love, dignity, happiness, and kindness, no matter what.
  7. No criticism, from myself or others, could ever detract from my inherent worth as a human being.

Affirmations for Perfectionists at Work

Deadlines. Quotas. Expectations set by bosses, clients, and even ourselves. Perfectionism abounds in the workplace.

It’s almost viewed as a good thing, under capitalistic society (*sigh*). Our value is often equated with what we can produce, how we can make other people more money, and so on.

But we are human. We will not always meet the standards or expectations set by others. That can become really draining and lead to a lot of negative self-talk for people dealing with perfectionism at work.

Here are some workplace affirmations for perfectionism.

  1. I deserve to be recognized for the effort I put in, no matter the perceived results.
  2. My wellbeing is more important than my perceived efficiency.
  3. I will not stay in places where I am not valued. (Easier said than done, but I will seek other options if I need to.)
  4. I will accept compliments from people on my work without pointing out my perceived flaws to them.
  5. Even when my work doesn’t meet certain standards, I deserve to be compensated for my time and energy.
  6. I will not hold myself to unrealistic standards at work.
  7. I recognize that constructive criticism is given as advice to improve my work, not as a comment on my personal worth.

Affirmations for Creative Perfectionists

As an aspiring artist, author, and general creative person, I know firsthand how detrimental perfectionism can be to the creative soul.

But we should always be proud of our creative endeavors, no matter how they turn out. We are making things that didn’t exist in the world before! We’re adding beauty and wonder to the world by expressing ourselves creatively! That’s something to be proud of.

Here are some creative affirmations for perfectionists.

  1. I recognize that part of what makes a work of art beautiful is its “imperfection”.
  2. My mistakes make my creative projects unique.
  3. I have fun with my creative projects, rather than worry about doing them “perfectly”.
  4. My creative projects cannot be perfect, because perfection is subjective and does not truly exist.
  5. Whatever I create, it is good enough!
  6. I will treat people’s opinions of my creative projects as opinions, not facts.
  7. I refuse to speak negatively about my art because it is beautiful simply for being something that I made.

Affirmations for Releasing Perfectionism

A big part of unlearning perfectionism is to release our over-identification with it.

Africa Brooke did an excellent podcast about how to release perfectionism, and a key part of that is to let go of the idea that You Are A Perfectionist.

None of us are doomed to perfectionism! It’s not a core personality trait, it’s a belief that we are always free to dismiss when we realize it isn’t serving us.

So, let’s conclude with some affirmations for perfectionism – or, rather, for releasing perfectionism.

  1. I have experienced perfectionism, but being a Perfectionist isn’t my identity.
  2. I release the need for unrealistic standards.
  3. I recognize that perfection is subjective.
  4. I congratulate myself for my accomplishments, rather than nitpicking every aspect of what I do.
  5. I refuse to put myself down for any reason.
  6. I will not put an unnecessary weight on my shoulders to do everything perfectly.
  7. I release the identity of being a Perfectionist.

And breathe in. And let it go.

Y’know, as I was typing up this post, I found myself rearranging the affirmations so that the longest sentences would be at the bottom of the list.

I thought it looked more “perfect” that way. I like having things line up nicely.

But, in the spirit of releasing perfectionism, I decided to go back and purposely arrange them in a “less perfect” way.

Take that, perfectionism! Ha!

I wish you a wonderful, free existence full of beauty and imperfect charm.

Sincerely,

Signature of the name Riley
Riley, he/they pronouns

Speaking from experience, I know perfectionism can be a real problem for creative folks. Here are some affirmations for artists!

See also: 27 more affirmations all about self love! ❤️


Do you experience perfectionism? How do you combat it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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In the background, a black and white photo of a sculpture of a head. The sculpture is broken in half, missing the top of the head. In the foreground, text reads: 35 Positive affirmations for perfectionists. Many people struggle with perfectionism, but it doesn't have to be a life sentence! Here are some positive affirmations for perfectionists. Below, highlighted in navy blue, is the URL to the blog, LiveByYourDesign.com.

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