Years ago, when I had severe anxiety, was completely broke, lonely, and lost… I held myself back so much because I thought I had to be perfect in order to be worthy.
I allowed perfectionism to stop me from going after my dreams. I thought I had to be perfectly thin, perfectly dressed, perfectly smart, perfectly skilled, perfectly well-spoken, perfectly *fill in the blank* in order to be successful.
No wonder I was so scared to move forward! Can you relate?
You know what's interesting? According to the latest research, perfectionism has been on a steady rise over the last 3 decades.
Some experts believe this increase is due to the amount of time we now spend on social media looking at people's "highlight reels."
These posts only show people and their families on their best days, with the best angles, best lighting, best outfits, best makeup, best hair, cleanest rooms, and are usually filtered to death.
Even though most people aren't posting the true reality of their lives, these highlight reel posts are having a negative affect on our mindset and what we believe we need to be, do, and have in order to be worthy.
Here is the problem with perfectionism. It is holding people back from living their dream lives.
So, what actually is perfectionism anyway?
Photo Cred: Psychology Today
The definition of perfectionism is: The refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.
This refusal to accept anything other than perfection can express itself in many ways. You can be highly critical of yourself and, in turn, others too.
This can put a big strain on our relationships. When we place such high standards and expectations on others it can cause them to feel as though they are constantly walking on eggshells.
Perfectionism can also be caused or reinforced by how you were raised, where you work, who you hang out with most, where you spend your spare time (like Facebook and Instagram), and also your personality.
Interestingly, people with higher levels of anxiety tend to suffer from perfectionism more so than those who are anxiety free. (Anyone else raising their hand?? lol)
One of the biggest reasons people struggle with perfectionism (and one that is very common in the beautiful women I have the pleasure of coaching is)… Fear of failure.
This is really a mindset issue. People who have a deep fear of failure view anything less than perfect as a failure, therefore, they avoid taking chances or going after their dreams.
Basically, they hold themselves back from greatness over an unrealistic belief that they have to be perfect in order to be successful.
Perfectionism also causes another nasty habit… procrastination. (Another topic we will be covering in depth in the Mindset By Design for Her private FB Group,click here to join in on the conversation.)
When you feel like you have to be perfect, it can make it really hard for you to want to get started. As a matter of fact, it causes your brain to go into analysis paralysis.
Luckily, there are a few simple strategies we can implement to stop perfectionism from holding us back from the success we want and deserve.
Photo Cred: Human in the System
How to Release Perfectionism for Good in 4 Simple Steps
1. Test it Out
If you have lived most of your life as a perfectionist, transforming into a free-spirited “this is good enough” kind of person overnight isn't realistic. This is why it is smarter to start with baby steps. For example, you can send an email without proofreading it 20 times first. Or you can go to a networking event even if you feel like you don't have the perfect outfit to wear or the perfect thing to say, reminding yourself before each "trial run" that perfection doesn't exist.
Once you get comfortable dipping your toes in the “this is good enough/I am good enough” water, it will get easier and easier to release your need for perfection more and more and more.
2. Change Your Perception
Perfectionists can often hold the bar so high for themselves that is hard to know what “good enough” actually is. If this is you, what you can do is think to yourself, what would I tell my coworker, friend, son/daughter, or loved one about this? Would you call them too fat to speak in front of a crowd? Would you tell them they weren't perfect enough to go after their dreams? Probably not.
Understanding when it would be “good enough” for someone else can help you to determine whether or not you are starting to fall into perfectionistic tendencies.
3. Set Time Limits
Perfectionism can cause you to do 2 things:
#1 Procrastinate and do nothing or
#2 Make you take WAY too long to complete things so nothing ever gets done.
I currently provide mindset coaching to a large group of high-level entrepreneurs in the health space. Everyone from chiropractors, naturopaths, doctors, and dietician who are all launching online courses and practices. Some of these practitioners launch in 3 weeks while some are 12 months in and still haven’t launched.
This is why, every chance I get, I tell the people who are taking longer to put a time limit on all the work they need to do in order to get their program launched.
For example, if it is taking them a whole day or even a week to complete one exercise that is a red flag that perfectionism is kicking in. When I meet with these clients I always recommend that they give themselves a time limit for each task and that is the same advice I want to give to you.
4. Schedule Your Perfectionism
For some of us, having a high standard is just in our DNA which, as we now know, can be a hindrance to our success, however, there is are different instances when your high bar can be used in your favor. So for example, if there is a task that is very detail oriented, numbers based, or if you are doing a project for a client, this can be a great time to strategically allow your high standards to shine brightly.
The important part here is that you allow yourself to, at the same time, loosen up on other things and also implement the previous strategies above too.
DONE > PERFECT
Here is the truth, there is no such thing as perfect. It simply doesn’t exist. So if we keep aiming for perfection we will get stuck staying in the same place, never moving forward. This is why done will always beat perfect every time.
If you'd like to discuss and learn even more about Perfectionism and how it can have a negative affect on entrepreneurs join me LIVE today (Tuesday, February 12th) at 2 pm EST. All you have to do is CLICK HERE to join the private Mindset By Design for Her Facebook group where I will be going live. Can't wait to hang out with you there!
Now I want to know, have you ever let perfectionism hold you back from greatness or going after your dreams? Hit the reply button and let me know.
Wishing you so much love!
See you later today in the group!
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PS- Remember to join the Mindset By Design for Her private FB Group by CLICKING HERE.Can't wait to see you there!