Community//

Is Perfectionism Tripping You Up?

(Are you sabotaging your results with this sneaky trait?)

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I Honestly Thought I was Over my PERFECTIONISM!

Really! I mean, I have known that I am a perfectionist from a very young age. I couldn’t stand to get something on my clothes, I liked things in order, and if I got a 98 on a test, my first thought was where do those 2 points go! I’ve known this about myself forever. But I really thought I kicked the habit.

Then, I was working on a project. A project I received this summer (hey, no judgement, I’m being real here). It is really unlike me to drag my feet on something. I am a highly motivated self-starter and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. But this project, was killing me. I would set deadlines for myself and then blow them. The person who was waiting for it, was in no hurry and so kind every time I blew my self-imposed deadline, that it wasn’t helping. So finally, I started to force myself to work on it.

It was slow and painful. I kept starting and stopping. Pausing to ask my coaches questions. (yes, I have coaches. Coaches need coaches. There is always someone further along in their journey that can help you get where you want to be.) Okay, so I used all these tactics to slowly put this together, stall and stop, scrutinize and then as I am walking  through my kitchen cleaning up after dinner, it hits me…I can’t get this done because I’m so afraid of making a mistake.

See, it’s part of a new venture for me; a new offering in my business. And while I have decades of experience and know I can deliver an amazing project, I’m afraid of getting it wrong. I want them to tell me what they want so I can parrot it back to them instead of telling them what I offer and what I am good at. I want them to tell me what they pay, so I don’t have to figure it out. What if I charge too much and they think I’m full of myself? What if I charge too little and they think I don’t have value or I’m a joke? All of these things were working on the background, as I tried to write this proposal.

I didn’t think of it as perfectionism because I wasn’t set on being perfect. But perfectionism shows up in many different ways: fear of making mistakes, fear of not being good enough, fear of failing, black and white thinking, procrastination, etc…

Once, I recognized what was happening and that this was my perfectionism showing up, I just sat down and wrote. I wrote from my heart and wrote what I needed to say, knowing I could edit it later. Knowing that if it’s meant to be, they will accept my offer and if not, it’s a stepping stone in my journey. Knowing that action breeds clarity and that the only failure is not taking the risk of being “wrong.”

Many (probably most) highly ambitious, high-performing people are perfectionists. In fact, our perfectionism works for us, that’s why we hold on to it. But what has gotten you to this point, is not what is going to get you to the next level. To keep up-leveling, you have to do things new, different, uncomfortable and unconventional.

Where is perfectionism holding you back and what risk do you need to take to up-level, especially as it pertains to this time of year? Please share in the comments below.

If you are a high-achieving leader who needs help overcoming your perfectionism, so that you can make your big impact, contact me.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Courtesy of Ruslan Grumble / Shutterstock
Thriving in the New Normal//

15 Ways to Silence Your Inner Perfectionist So You Can Finally Get Things Done

by Marina Khidekel
Community//

The One Big Thing That Kills Your Creativity

by Eugene K. Choi
Work Smarter//

Why High Achievers Struggle With Procrastination

by Christine McAlister

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.