STOP choosing perfection and START seeing progress – here’s how.
We’ve all been there, that place just outside our comfort zone. That uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty that comes with doing something new. Painstakingly, going over and over whether we covered all bases, whether it looks as beautiful as we can possibly make it, whether the wording could be misinterpreted and OH MY WORD what if I offend someone with this?!
We continue to make tweaks here and there, for weeks, months or even years! This is a perfect case of perfectionism which in turn leads to procrastination. This duo is toxic and needs to be shut down ASAP! If you let it linger you risk grinding your business down to a halt!
Perfectionism is an incredible waste of time and it comes with a cost. That cost is time, your most precious resource that you can’t get back. Imagine the amount of time you would have saved, what else you could have created, the progress you would have seen, the money you could have made, the clients you could have served, the impact you could have had.
Don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us and it’s especially rife in new business owners. It’s time to call this out so you can stop holding yourself back. You are more than capable of achieving everything you desire. Sometimes a nudge is all you need to create some awareness of where you’re blocking yourself so that you can shine a light on where you need to choose differently.
None of us are immune from those voices in our head telling us we’re not good enough or that we’re not ready. Continuing to listen to these lies will wreak havoc on your ability to succeed and will ultimately stop you living a fulfilled life. It’s those who dial down the volume and choose not to listen to those voices who make the fastest progress and whose businesses’ skyrocket to beyond their wildest dreams!
Your contribution is needed, and it’s needed now. So it’s time to take control of your perfectionism so that it’s no longer taking control of you. Here’s how…
START deciding what takes priority
Perfectionists tend to rate everything with the same level of importance and give every task 100%. This means things take way longer than they should and ultimately you risk the overall quality. You simply don’t have the time to do everything perfectly. And actually not everything needs to be perfect. So instead of spreading yourself too thin, identify where your time and energy will have the most impact and relax on everything else. Most people aren’t going to notice or even care about the small details you’re worrying and procrastinating on. Instead direct that energy onto the tasks that matter and getting them done.
START taking action before you feel ready.
Most perfectionists will wait until they feel ready to take action. But waiting for this feeling is giving your power away. Being ready is a decision you need to make, rather than a feeling you could be waiting forever to feel. Instead, take the power back and take ownership of what you want to happen. Decide what you’re going to do before you feel ready. Create accountability to help you get it done by declaring to others what you’re going to do and when.
START valuing imperfect action and mistakes
Perfectionists will finish something once they deem it to be perfect. Sometimes this means the finished result is never actually realised. This can stem from a lack of confidence, which is natural for someone attempting to do something new. But it’s only through taking action that you build your self belief and confidence. Taking action creates the evidence that you can do the scary thing or that you were able to cope when that scary thing didn’t go as planned. You learn what and how to improve. And that is through making mistakes. This is the only way you learn. When you learn to value imperfect action and see mistakes as stepping stones to your bigger and best self, you become more productive and things seem easier.
STOP being around others that keep you playing small
We are who we spend the most time with. Make sure you limit any time around people who question your worth and abilities. Your ego does not need any further support reinforcing unhelpful thoughts that aren’t even true! Instead surround yourself with people who support your self belief and make you feel good about who you are, especially when you’re growing . These people will cheer you on and show you your strengths. Meet other like-minded people and find accountability through an event, a Facebook group, or perhaps a group coaching program. If you put yourself out there, you’ll soon see there is no shortage of places to find YOUR people who will build you up, see your potential and encourage you on to success.
STOP comparing yourself to others
Comparing yourself to other business owners can be a massive trigger for perfectionists. Your perception of other businesses doing better than yours makes you feel like you’re not good enough. You end up procrastinating on perfecting your work so that it can match up to that of your competitors. However, comparison is not a useful way to spend your time, not to mention it’s only valid if you’re comparing apples to apples, which is impossible when comparing humans to humans, who are on different journeys. There are so many different factors that influence the success of a business that it’s impossible to tell if another business is a useful comparator and it is absolutely not worth your time trying to find out! Instead, if you want to compare yourself to anyone, let it be yourself from yesterday. Progress is always a better choice over perfection.
STOP taking negative feedback personally
Perfectionism can make you worry about how you’re perceived by others. You take pride in delivering quality work and negative feedback can feel like a personal attack. It’s only natural that something you’ve spent so much time and energy on has become a part of yourself. The criticism can feel like rejection and it’s deflating. And you’re not going to be very productive in that state. Instead, shift your mindset and see yourself as separate from your work. Feedback is simply information which you can choose to accept if it’s helpful or leave if you don’t think it is. Feedback has nothing to do with you as a person, separate the feedback from you and reflect it on what you’re working on. You need the feedback in order to improve it, welcome it and choose to feel empowered by it, not defeated.
Ultimately every action or inaction is a choice you’re making either consciously or unconsciously. If you’re feeling disappointed because you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s propabably because you’re focusing on the wrong thing. Ask yourself if this is getting you closer to your goal, and if it’s not then you know you need to course correct. Focus on progress, make intentional choices and keep moving forward.
Choose to start before you feel ready.
Choose to put it out to the world before you’ve reached perfect.
Choose to accept that imperfect action is better than no action.
Remember why you started and don’t let perfectionism be the reason why you stopped.