Overcoming Perfectionism with Yoga and MeditationYoung people’s minds in the 21st century seem to differ from the mental state of people 10 years ago. By seeing “perfect” bodies or lives, carved and presented to us via different marketing techniques and channels (such as social media), those “images of perfection” are being implemented in our minds subconsciously. Thus, people who cannot achieve those images that their minds are fixated on tend to lose self-esteem and have their creative minds stifled. We are talking about perfectionism here, and it is one of the major reasons for the feeling of dissatisfaction when one gets up and stands in front of the mirror.

Getting over perfectionism and unloading the unnecessary burden of self-judgement can be fought, with the right discipline, and channelling those emotions that take over you. Yoga and meditation are two very effective ways, both being deeply interconnected, that can help you lose the “perfectionist syndrome”.


Stress – It freezes your innovation and races your heart. The same system that makes you feel unsure about your qualities and worry whether you’re good enough is the one that causes a thrill over great ideas. Stress can have you scared of making the next step or propel you forward. Yoga provides techniques for finding serenity and fighting off stress through controlled breathing, relaxation, and meditation.

Discriminating your worth – No one is perfect and, even though we can imagine or have an idea about it, no one actually attains that final state of perfection. Don’t be so harsh when criticizing yourself (perfectionist are the toughest critics of their own work). Know your worth, learn to respect your work, but also that you are not it, no matter how bad or how good.

Procrastinating – Perfectionism and procrastination are closely linked to one another. Procrastination can mask a fear of facing criticism or of being wrong, as well as a lack of confidence in oneself. So, instead of making a performance, the perfectionist in you only wants to keep rehearsing. Kundalini Yoga is a technique for strengthening the Third Chakra that is responsible for commitment and willpower.

Not learning that perfection is subjective – You may find yourself afraid to finishing your project because you’re so worried about achieving perfection. It makes you unproductive. However, the perfection for which you strive is only in your head. Finish the work, revise, edit, and just send it out into the world. The feedback you get should be used to improve your work, and the negative comments will be of much greater use to you than the positive. Learn to appreciate constructive criticism.


It is training for your attention. The capacity for one-pointed attention should be trained and developed, because we live in a world with countless distractions. Meditation is one of the best ways for improving the quality of your attention, because it often determines the quality and direction of your life. Perfectionism makes you worry about the future result of your work. On the other hand, meditation keeps you rooted in the present, where we are free from various stress responses (which are what most often plagues our productivity). If your schedule is packed, you can easily find great online yoga training sessions and learn how to meditate yourself into the present moment through a yoga routine of your choice, without even leaving the comfort of your home.


People find the best time for doing yoga and meditating to be early in the morning. It settles the mind, calms the nerves, and opens the heart at the very beginning of a new day. When the mind is clear, you are able to decide on the most important tasks to accomplish during the day. When you marry your daily intentions and meditation, you will be able to stay on course through the day by maintaining a calm focus and not getting tangled with activities that are not that important at the moment.

If you are interested in trying to overcome perfectionism, a simple 10-minute yoga exercise and meditation, followed by 10 minutes of setting your goals and intentions for the day, might just do wonders for you. Kick the nasty feelings and emotions that are brought over and over again by the perfectionist attitude. As the old Chinese proverb says, “talk doesn’t cook rice”, so don’t overthink and step into action.

Samantha Olivier,

Daily Zen.

Author Bio – Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on twitter, or in a tea shop.

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