Do you find that if you have kids you also carry the same standards for them?
Striving to be perfect takes a lot of energy and builds up a great deal of stress. Perfectionists try to not overlook any details. They find it hard to ask others to take care of some of the tasks that need to get finished. The joys of a completed project are temporary for perfectionists as they embark on the next situation that they feel they need to master. Ironically, when someone tries to even change their own perfectionistic tendencies they feel they need to do that perfectly too!
Ask yourself these questions and try to sit with the answers to them:
Is my sense of worth tied up with my performance at school, work and as a parent? If so, where did this come from? Do you see a pattern throughout your personal history?
Do you live for praise and recognition from others for your sense of who you are? What defines your self-worth?
Do people tell you that you are a workaholic or are too hard on yourself?
Remember that you can stil have high standards for yourself without having to be "number one". Letting go of the pressure for being perfect does not mean you now have low or no standards.
The journey or process is just as important as the result or outcome. Making mistakes is how we grow and learn. You'll be a much more flexible person accepting imperfections in yourself and in others. In fact, someone may call their freckles an imperfection but that can be what someone finds cute about them.
Does anyone really want to be around a "perfect" person? Would you want to be around someone who never misses the net in basketball or who does everthing without a flaw?