Perfectionism – how to overcome it!
There’s this trap we can all fall into as business owners. This idea that the next thing we do HAS to be perfect.
It could that your mind has convinced you that your next piece of jewlerry that you sell on Etsy has to be perfect. Or the next event you run has to be perfect. Or the sales page you write has to be perfect.
Even just this idea that anything we do in our business has to be perfect is illogical. Why? Well, perfection is defined as being complete and correct in every way (Cambridge Dictionary).
How do we know if something is “complete and correct in every way”? Isn’t that subjective?
Let’s say you make a sales page or send an email to your list of email subscribers. How do you know if it’s correct in every way?
For one person, it may appear to be that way. To someone else (with different life experiences), it may appear that certain things are incorrect or incomplete.
Basically, who exactly is judging whether something is complete and correct in EVERY way?? And why are they the judge?
What appears complete to one person may feel incomplete to someone else. And vice versa.
So even if you wanted your next business offer to be perfect… how would you judge that? What benchmark would you use for perfection?
What does perfection even mean?
Striving for perfection can stop us from producing our best work. It can also slow us down from truly solving problems for our future clients! Which is funny as that’s the reason we got into business in the first place!
Really – your future client doesn’t want or need perfection. They just want their problem solved. They just want their need filled.
Over the years, I’ve had so many business owners clients come to me and say they haven’t executed in their business all week because they just didn’t think it was good enough.
They were comparing themselves to others online and they just didn’t feel like what they’d do would be sufficient.
By the end of the week, they’d feel more frustrated than ever because they know they hadn’t progressed in helping their current or future clients in solving their problem.
Instead they’d been too focused on making it perfect. Which led them to doing nothing all week.
Imagine weeks and weeks of perfectionism in your business and how much that would cost you financially, emotionally and mentally! But not only that. Think about the cost it has on your current and future clients who need your product or service.
They could be benefiting from your solution if it wasn’t for your perfectionism.
They could have moved forward in their own lives by now if it wasn’t for you trying to be perfect.
See – this is the sneaky thing about perfectionism.
Perfectionism is all about YOU. It’s about YOU being enough. YOU being perfect. YOU needing validation. YOU.
Perfectionism is not actually about your client. It may FEEL like you’re doing it for your current or future client. That’s what makes it sneaky.
Your mind will convince you that you need your next personal training session to be PERFECT for your client to be satisfied. Your mind will convince you that your website has to be PERFECT for your audience or leads to be satisfied.
But the truth is that it’s not actually about your prospects or your clients. No – your perfectionism is about you. And your desire to appear a certain way.
Below, I’ve given you a list of powerful journaling questions you can work through to help you better understand what makes you feel like your work needs to be PERFECT.
Grab a pen and paper and write down anything and everything that comes to mind for you. Don’t worry about making it perfect ;). Just write.
Even if it’s just random words that come out, that’s great. Just let it out:
- If you’re being really honest with yourself, what are you actually scared of? If you (or your work) isn’t perfect, what will that mean?
- What are you afraid people will think of you if you’re imperfect? What are you worried people will say?
- If you’re imperfect, what does that mean about the kind of person you are? What will happen?
- If your work isn’t perfect, what’s the worst case scenario of what will happen?
I recommend taking just 2 minutes to write down the answers to those questions on a piece of paper.
Those answers will really help you understand yourself better and allow you to see why it is that you need things to be perfect.
The more aware you become, the easier it’ll be for you to catch yourself next time you’re avoiding completing something in your business.
Also, in that moment, I want you to remember your current and future client. Focus on them. What they want, need, and crave. When you’re doing your work whether it’s painting or accounting, focus on them.
You’ll see that when your attention is truly on them and their needs, your own perfectionism will reduce. As you’ll be more intent on helping them solve their issue than on your need to be perfect.
By the way, I know this is seriously tough. It can be so tough to disentangle from thoughts that you have to be flawless and perfect.
You’re doing a great job and you’ve already taken the first step in changing this habit by reading more about perfectionism. Keep going – you’re worth it. And work is worth it too.
And I’m so curious to hear from you – how has perfectionism held you back or slowed you down in your own business? Drop a comment below and let me know! x
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Perfection – how to focus on progress not perfection!
I’ve been thinking a lot about you and how badly I want you to be going after your dreams. Not kind of. But really truly going after them – like you mean it!!
Unfortunately I know (from working with business owners over the last 6 years) how much procrastination can get in the way of you actually making the kind of progress you deserve!
Procratination sneaks up on us. Sometimes, we don’t even realise it’s happening. That’s how sneaky it is!
Unfortunately, it really CAN halt us from ever achieving our goals. The idea that so many business owners will never create what they want makes me sad (and I also feel so determined to help people out of this procrastination!).
Sadly, procrastination can really become a habit. For example, that email we were meant to send last week… a day goes by, two, three, four days go by. And we don’t do it. We get into the habit of listening to our mind’s chatter and staying in our heads. Rather than just getting something DONE!
Basically it becomes a recurring pattern.
I love what Steven Pressfield says about procrastination:
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit.
We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.
Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There was never a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.
The second we can sit down and do our work.”
What I love about that is the idea that you can CHOOSE to change at any moment. You don’t have to wait even one more hour to shift your results and make progress on your dream!
YES – even you! Even if it’s been months since you’ve been in a funk.
That’s the other danger with procrastination:
If we procrastinate for too many days, weeks or months in a row, we can start (falsely) believing that there’s no point anymore.
It feels like we’ve wasted TOO much time. Like it’s “too late” to somehow get back on the horse. That is SUCH a lie. But our mind can convince us that it’s too late. It’ll say something like: ‘is this still worth it?’
The answer is YES – it’s 100% worth it. It’s your dream. Remember – time is going to pass regardless. Might as well do something you truly care about during that time!
When we procrastinate, we also lose that much-needed momentum.
What I mean is this: when you’re executing daily on your goals, you start seeing small improvements in your business. You might even start seeing a tiny bit of tangible progress! That progress and those results can incentivise you to KEEP GOING. We all need those little mini wins to stay motivated. It’s powerful to experience that momentum. Imagine a snow ball rolling down the hill, gathering speed over time! That’s what happens with daily action.
Whereas – in contrast – when we procrastinate, we don’t experience that momentum. Everything feels stuck, stagnant, and still. This can lead to more procrastination. It’s a viscious cycle really.
So, how do you get out of procrastination?!
I’m going to share what I’ve personally used most. When I feel the MOST stuck, it kind of feels like really thick mud. The idea of getting up, off the couch and actually getting started on work in my business can feel SO tough.
When you think about it, it’s not that surprising. It requires ENERGY to get up and do something different. Whether it’s sending a follow up message to a lead or writing a sales page.
In those moments, our minds convince us that it’s so much more comfortable to continue our procrastination.
When I’ve found myself in those states, I feel I need something outside of me to wake me up and inspire me enough to shift gears!
There are certain books, YouTube channels, and blogs that just get me going again! That’s right – sometimes we need that external motivation to get ourselves back in the flow and executing in our business. Never feel bad about that! Use it!
I have a paperback copy of Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins that I’ve picked up over and over again. What’s interesting is that I find I only need to read a couple of pages of that book to fire me up again and get me into action.
On other days, I’ll listen to a Lewis Howes “School Of Greatness” podcast episode on YouTube. Again, I don’t find I need to listen to the whole thing. Often, just 15 minutes of a video will work at firing me up again. If an episode isn’t firing me up enough, I’ll continue scrolling through his episodes until I find one that gets me excited enough to take action.
If, for some reason, I still feel like procrastinating then I know it’s time to move my body. I’ll choose a HITT workout or yoga video on YouTube, put my shorts and sports bra on and just get into it right away. Even if I’m not in the mood or feel like it.
Why? Well I’ve found that moving my body gets me out of my head and into my body.
It’s almost as if it allows me to shift gears – to come at my business from a different angle!
Once I’ve moved my body, I’m usually much more likely to just get into action in my business.
I’ve released any of that tension or sluggishness I had, and it allows me to feel more energised to take execute on a business task!
Now if none of those options work that day, guess what I do? I just start taking action in my business. I know, I know. Sounds SO obvious and kind of dumb to say that. But I’m being honest. I’ve learned over the last 6 years of being in this business that sometimes it just requires you to force yourself. Yup. It really means forcing yourself.
Usually with some pop music on Spotify in the background. Look this is what I know: some days you’re just never going to feel like it.
And if you just let your mind win, you’ll NEVER hit your business goal. You’ll NEVER live your dream. And that to me is the saddest thing you could experience.
Life is here and now. And we genuinely don’t know how much time we have left. Nothing is guaranteed. Why waste time by procrastinating?
Your mind will give you the most convincing reasons not to start taking action.
Nowadays, I’m more aware of the different stories my mind throws up at me.
When I hear the story in my mind, “it’s going to be so boring, just do it later”, I laugh. There it goes again, telling the same old story that it’s going to be boring. By catching the story and labeling it, it allows me to get some distance from my mind.
It requires practice but the more you can catch these stories your mind gives you, the easier it’ll be for you to avoid procrastinating and take action instead. Regardless of how many convincing reasons your mind gives you to continue procrastinating!
You’ll find that your mind isn’t very original either. Your mind will often come up with the same old story:
“It’ll be boring.” “I’m not good enough.” “Nobody cares about my product.” “Nobody will read this.” “It’s going to be too hard.” “I don’t have the time.” “I’ll never get there so what’s the point?” “I’m too overwhelmed with how big my goal is.” “I don’t know where to start.”
How many of those stories have YOU heard from your mind? See what I mean. Our minds come up with the same old stuff over and over again on repeat.
Start noticing what your mind says each day to try and convince you to procrastinate. You’ll find it fascinating. Write those stories down on a piece of paper and see if the same ones show up the next day.
And decide, once and for all, that you’re just not going to let your mind win. That YOU are in control. And that regardless of how many stories pop up, you’re going to take action ANYWAY!
Despite the thoughts, the fears, the doubts, or just the lack of inspiration! Are you up for it?!
It’s worth it. Your dreams are worth it. And so are you. This does matter. Your business DOES matter. And you matter. Just get to it. Start right now!
I’m so curious, what have you been procrastinating on over the last couple of days that you’re now willing to crush? Let me know in the comments!!
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