The Curse Of Perfectionism
I’m a recovering perfectionist!
It’s something that I’ve struggled with all my life…well for as long as I can remember. I’ve covered this desire for perfection with a mask of excellence, ambition, hard work. In reality, I was sabotaging myself.
Why? Because perfectionism is an ideal…it’s not achievable.
I’m not alone in my perfectionist tendencies. So many entrepreneurs deal with it daily, often without even realising it.
If you mentally tick off any of the below, you might be struggling with perfectionism.
You are avoiding launching your offering. Or pushing your website live. Or pressing send on that email. Or promoting your lead magnet. Or writing a blog post. All because you’re worried it’s not perfect.
You get a sinking feeling that you can’t get rid of when someone points out a mistake you’ve made or a typo in your content.
You take it to heart when someone unsubscribes from your list
You’re hit with a total feeling of inadequacy when someone chooses to stop working with you
You overthink every decision in your business. You write out pro and con lists and look for a reason not to do it’.
You feel like you have to know every detail of something before you try it out.
You avoid taking risks because there are too many ‘what ifs’.
No one journeys into entrepreneurship intending to ‘not succeed’. It’s normal and acceptable to want to succeed in your business. But if you find yourself swallowed up by the endless hunt for perfection, you won’t ever find your success.
It is part of the curse of perfectionism.
So, how do you break the curse?
Mark Cuban offers some brilliant advice…
Cuban says “Perfection is the enemy of success. You don’t need to be perfect, because nobody is”.
That last part is what made the difference for me.
I’m not perfect! Anyone reading this isn’t perfect (sorry lovely 🙂)! My clients aren’t perfect! Even the business geniuses of the world aren’t perfect!
Everyone has flaws and they are part of who we are. Owning the flaws, recognising our limitations and finding support in those areas is key to progress.
And progress is one way to fight perfectionism.
Use the moments of failure as learning opportunities.
No one wants to fail, but it happens. And you know what? It’s okay! An occasional failure will force you to re-evaluate your approach. To redirect your focus. It can ground you, recentre you and force you to challenge your internal narrative.
Don’t allow the failure to define you…
Or the fear of it to stop you in your tracks.
Look at the big picture
It’s time to stop focusing on the minute details and take a step back.
Consider the end goal and recognise that not taking any action will never get you there.
Give yourself a bit of a break and lower the bar a bit…
Do a reality check
It’s so easy to let self-doubt creep in when that perfectionist narrative pops up.
If I find myself dealing with that inner critic or the ‘all-or-nothing’ thoughts that are so common for a perfectionist, I ask myself some questions to recentre my thinking:
Is this as bad as I’m making it out to be?
What is the worst thing that could happen if this goes ahead?
How likely is that?
Is this going to matter to me in twelve months?
More often than not (okay almost 100% of the time) I find that my answers bring things back into focus.
Be vulnerable and ask for support
If your perfectionism is holding you back, reach out to someone you trust.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and ask for support.
Ask them to cast their eye over that email, give their feedback on your design, proof-read your copy.
Two heads are better than one and a burden shared is a burden halved…
Sorry for the cliches but they are so relevant to this.
From one ‘recovering’ perfectionist to another, I encourage you to remember this:
Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.