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Trying Too Hard To Be A Perfect Woman

By Yulia Mark

You could be setting yourself up for frustration and failure.

Six ways to achieve more by doing less. In today's world, with pressure to do and be everything, who does not want to be Super Women, being a perfect women?

Most, if not all, women feel the need to be perfect, but being a perfectionist is debilitating because we feel, each and everyday, like we don't measure up. Letting go of your quest for perfection allows you to achieve more and enjoy life in the process. Here are six steps to embracing your less-than-perfect-self:

1. Do it half-rate. Choose an activity and instead of aiming for your typical 100 percent, shoot for 70 or even 50 percent. Every Christmas, Johannah Haney, 24, from Columbus, Ohio, is obsessive about gift wrapping. "I spend weeks and way too much money making my present look window-display perfect, she says. "People do not even appreciate it that much, so I wind up feeling disappointed." This year, Haney is taking the low-key route. "I bought some inexpensive paper, and I am going to put on Christmas music and limit the wrapping to one afternoon. I want to make it a fun rather than stressful experience."

2. Make a list - then minimize it. List everything you feel has to get done today. Then grab a red pen and circle only the items of highest priority. Consider it a successful day when you have completed those tasks.

3. Redefine workout. Chloe Bergman, 28, an artist living in New York City, always strove for intense workout. "Unless I was sweating bullets on the tread-mill everyday, it was enough, she says. But then a friend took her to yoga class. "It actually helped my running, Bergman says. "Now I am convinced it is good to vary my workout, in terms of intensive as well as type."

4. Say no more often. Perfectionist women feel like they should be able to do everything. But they can't. No one can. So the next time you're asked to serve on demanding committee or have coffee with someone you don't really like spending time with, politely (but firmly) decline.

5. Reward yourself for every accomplishment. Channing Dungey, 33, a film producer in Los Angeles, has a hard time acknowledging that she's finished a work project. "I'll keep checking and rechecking it to make sure it's exactly perfect, she says. To counterbalance these tendencies - and help herself leave the desk - Dungey has created a reward system. "For a small project, I'll get some frozen yogurt. For a bigger project, I'll buy a new pair of shoes. It helps me break out of my pattern of feeling like the work is never done."

6. Share rather than compare. The annoying thing about saying adios to your perfectionist self is that everyone around you still looks perfect. Next time, instead of comparing yourself to your friends, open up to them - confess how uninformed you think you looked in that meeting, how you embarrassed yourself on a date. You'll be surprised to learn that most people experience the same things. We're not so perfect after all.

About The Author
Contributed by Yulia Mark from Women Lifestyle, Fashion, Health, Beauty and Personality Network, small group of women journalists to the World.

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