I'm surprised at the amount of the people I work with in my business who struggle with perfectionism.
It's easy to spot because they say they will do something, and when we talk again the next week, and the following week, and then the next week…pretty soon a month goes by…and they are still doing it… fixing this, fixing that, redoing this, regrouping that. The perfectionist flag goes up.
These are the ones who are usually getting ready to get ready in their home based business but never really get started. They are waiting for everything to be perfect.
I was on the phone the other day with a woman fears making the slightest mistake. She says it's important to her that everything is just right before she starts to market. Here was her short list.
SHE SAID SHE HAD TO DO THESE THINGS BEFORE SHE CAN START…
- Had to have 10 blog posts done and 'edited' by a professional.
- Needed to have professional pictures of herself taken.
- Needed to loose a few pounds before she did that.
- Needed to have answers to any possible questions someone may have written out and handy.
- Needed to change her message on her voice mail needed to be redone… again.
- Needed to have her emails had to be all set up and read through … again.
I had to interrupt her because I recognized a deeper problem which I'll share in a moment.
I asked her a series of questions relative to what she just said.
1) "All these things you are saying you need to do…..Is this what you expect and see of others before you feel you can do business with them?" She said no.
2) "Do you judge people who just go 'go their thing' and put themselves out there and are having a good time?" She said no.
3) "Have you ever spoken to someone who you'd expect to know the answer to your question, yet they didn't?" She said yes.
4) "Did you judge them for that?" She said no.
5) "Do you enjoy observing people just being authentically themselves and enjoying their business?" She said yes.
6) " Would you rather a join a business opportunity with someone being authentically themselves, making mistakes, laughing at themselves, having a bad hair day, swatting at fly during a video or someone who appears to be perfect in every way?" She said the person being authentically themselves.
7) "Then why do you think you can't be yourself?" She said that's just the way she was. Things just have to be perfect for her to be able to do her business. Said she'd always been that way.
So what's interesting is she expects a different set of rules for herself than the rules she sees others play by. The pressure she is putting on herself to be perfect is unrealistic and it can't possibly be fun. When your business isn't fun, guess what? You won't do it! In fact, perfectionism is downright painful. It's not funny, not cute, not something to casually brush to the side.
I asked her…
"What would happen if you just started blogging and making videos and you were relaxed and sharing your heart and your knowledge as if you were speaking to a friend over a cup of tea. Because when you are having tea with a friend, you are just being you. You may step over some words, toss in a laugh, maybe spill some cream, but it's not given a thought. Does the sound of being able to be that free to just be yourself sound good?"
"That sounds great but I can't do that."
I asked her about considering whether the underlying root of her perfectionism is FEAR.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of not measuring up.
Fear that someone would find out she's new in her business.
Fear of failure.
When I asked her to dig deep in the quite of her heart to reflect on that, she agreed.
When she was growing up, she received attention and the love her parents when she excelled in school, when she dressed nice, when her hair was always in place, etc.
Everything she did, how she dressed, how she walked, how she did her chores, how she treated others, how she did her art, how she performed in sports, how she did everything… was rewarded with words of affection.
When she did less than perfect, she was shunned and criticized and told she should have done better.
Her parents never accepted her 'best try' as being good enough.
She is associating her business with perfection because to her, to be less than perfect is to not be good enough.
This is sad really. What terrible persecution and bondage.
RELEASE PERFECTION AND START LIVING
There is good news and that's the perfectionist simply deciding that they can CHANGE THEIR MIND about WHAT THEY BELIEVE to be the truth.
As we grow up, our parents and grandparents, teachers and government tell us what to believe about ourselves and our value.
They infused and 'downloaded' their beliefs into our brains. As such, we accept those beliefs and end up being dysfunctional grownups with limited and false belief systems.
These limited and false belief systems don't serve us, but rather keep us in poverty and bondage of some sort.
At any time, as an adult, you are free to "uninstall' those downloads and upload new beliefs. Just like a computer. Our brains are magnificent computers!
You can do this in an instant.
Simply make a list of belief systems that don't
serve you and install the ones that do.
These would include but not limited to of course…
"I am free to decide my inherent worth."
"My best it good enough, every time."
"I am good enough just the way I am."
"I deserve success to follow my dreams."
"I don't need everyone to like me. My life is full of friends and business colleagues who accept me for who I am."
"I can learn new skills that will serve my purpose."
"I can make mistakes and laugh at myself."
"I can be myself and still be loved and valuable."
"I love who I am in all my imperfection."
"Success and life does not require me to be less than what I am."
"People around the world are waiting me for me to show up and just be me."
"People relate to me because I am authentically myself."
These are the beliefs you want to insure you are carrying with you as you not only step into the business world, but through life!
CHANGE YOUR THINKING… MAKE A NEW DECISION ABOUT YOURSELF… CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
5 Tips For Avoiding Perfectionism
1. Accept that your best is the best and leave the rest. Give 90%.
Just do your best and be happy with that. Your best will be 90%. The other 10% is the perfectionist striving for excellence. Let the other 10% go and celebrate that you got the work done. Usually the pain of perfectionism comes from that last 10%. Give yourself kuddos for the 90% you did!
2. Simple Decide To Go Easy On Yourself.
It feels terrible to struggle to the point where it effects your mood and your ability to gain ground. Nobody likes that.
However, if you're growing as an entrepreneur, guess what? You're going to go through challenges, your going to have ups and downs and moments of head bashing to figure stuff out. It's life in general, not just business.
So rather than being tough on yourself, stay in an attitude of gratefulness for the fabulous journey you're on.
Take an inventory about why you are feeling like you are. Is it because things aren't perfect? For example, you can't get your sub-headlines to space correctly, or you don't like the way you sound in a video, or you have re-read your blog post or article 10 times and continue to feel like you aren't getting the sentence structure right?
Let it go! Publish it! Upload it! And pat yourself on the back for having gotten it done. Move on to the next thing to do!
Start celebrating that you got the work done and it was your best… not perfect. It was authentic, not perfect. People will connect and relate to you better in your imperfection because guess what? They are imperfect!
If you’re finding yourself where your work is not fun and you feel the pressure piling on, and you’re in “fight-or-flight” all the time, you’re edging beyond the desire for excellence into perfectionism territory. Accept your best, but let excellence go.
3. Know your inherent worthiness.
As long as we look outside ourselves or to those who have always put demands on us in order to be validated as "good enough", we will always be tempted to over-deliver.
Make a decision that you are good enough just where you are, with the information and skills you have and that getting started in your business, right now, as you are, is going to set the stage for your success.
Make a list of affirmations and repeat them several times a day to remind yourself of your value. I shared a short list of affirmations above. You can start with those and add to them. See if you can come up with 50!
4. Send your monster to time out.
There’s a voice in your head that can be a nasty monster, one that wants to come to steal, destroy and kill. It’s the voice of your fearful, insecure inner critic. If you’re not consciously filtering thoughts and taking every one capture before deciding which ones serve you and which ones kill you, this monster will take advantage of that and you'll default to 'not good enough' perfectionist thinking. At that point, you're dooped.
Joyce Meyer has an awesome book called "The Battlefield of the Mind" that you want to get and read about 100 times.
Instead of letting your monster get the best of you, listen to your Inner Spirit and know that you don’t need to be perfect.
5. Set goals but release attachment to outcomes.
Boy, this one is so important!
It’s one thing to set the goal of delivering a genius manuscript or a standing ovation performance or a gold star sales report or a successful surgical outcome or the desire to win the case/ land the client/ get the deal. It’s another to place your sense of value in how much you achieve.
Instead, do the best you can (well, 90% of your best) and then let it go. Trust. Have faith. And lean into your own sense of inherent worthiness.
Never give up, always stand proud and you'll find yourself living in ease and satisfaction and success.
If you struggle with perfectionism, share your story and what you're doing to overcome… or what you did to overcome! I love hearing from you.
Have an awesome day and go practice being happy with being less than perfect!