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Focus on Progress, Not Perfection

There are a number of things that go into running a business; some we are comfortable with, and others we aren’t. For me, when I started the Master Fixer, blogging was something I found challenging: I have expert knowledge, I am good at what I do, but where do I begin and how on earth […]

There are a number of things that go into running a business; some we are comfortable with, and others we aren’t. For me, when I started the Master Fixer, blogging was something I found challenging: I have expert knowledge, I am good at what I do, but where do I begin and how on earth do you write a blog?! It wasn’t until I happened to stumble across a book, conveniently opened at a page that read “The worst thing you have ever written is better than the best thing you have never written”, that I realised I am holding myself to a too high standard. I can’t be perfect, I won’t ever be perfect, but I can give it a go- progress is better than nothing!

The search for perfection is something that troubles many of my clients. Trying to be perfect can get in the way of healthy changes you’re trying to make. You wouldn’t believe the difference in productivity, profit and the mindset of my clients when they realise that focusing on progress, opposed to perfection, is really what puts you on the path to success.

To properly highlight to you the negative side effects of perfectionism, here is a list of the ways that it can prevent you reaching your goals:

  • It slows you down. Trying to achieve perfection requires extra energy, focus and time.
  • It hinders new ideas and ways of doing things. When your concentration is directed toward flawlessness, you lose the ability to be aware and open to other possibilities. Perfectionism can keep you stuck doing the same thing over and over again with the same result.
  • It leads to self-criticism. When you fall short of a goal, your judgemental inner voice can start throwing barbs your way, creating a never-ending battle in your own mind! This self-imposed ‘mental assault’ may lead you to abandon your goal. Worse yet, you may be left with an underlying sense that you’ll never have the resources or the ability to realise your goals.
  • It makes your motivation inconsistent. By focusing on perfection, you tend to think in terms of black or white. Win or lose. Fail or succeed. There is no grey or middle ground. This type of thinking can make your motivation go up and down like a roller coaster. For instance, when things are going well, you might feel confident, accomplished and capable. These positive emotions can encourage you to keep moving forward. But as soon as things turn south, you start feeling discouraged and uninspired. These negative emotions tend to sour your enthusiasm, which makes it tough to stay the course.

Progression keeps you going. Think about hiking up a mountain and looking down when you’re halfway up to see how far you have come: you know you aren’t at the top, but it’s still better than being at the bottom- it’s the same with business.

You need to accept that mistakes are a part of all human endeavours, so instead of avoiding them we must learn from them, and use them to improve in the future. You might find that once you’ve given it a go that you’ve done better than you thought (and if not, just keep trying!).

As a business owner you will know that there is a never-ending list of things to do. It is easy to think that there is never anything to celebrate, because you’re not quite done yet! By focusing on progression, you will start to open your eyes to more of your accomplishments, no matter how small. You will notice yourself getting better over time- and that sounds like cause to celebrate to me!

So the next time you find yourself sat in a cloud of disappear for not being perfect, remember progression is what really matters. Re-frame your view of failure, and ensure the tasks you give yourself are realistic. If you need help, ask for it- that is not something to be ashamed of and it is an important lesson to remember.

If you think you and your business could do with a guiding hand, expert advice, or even just someone to hold you accountable, then book your Complimentary Call with me now. Alternatively, head over to my Facebook Group where I share my expert insights with a bunch of like-minded business women. Come and join the fun!

Hugs,

Linda x

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