Could the pressure of perfection be paralyzing your potential and progress? Does the pressure that we, as women, put on ourselves to be perfect, unnecessarily stress us out, knock our productivity and steal our happiness?
Perfectionism is often seen as an integral part of success – “You must score high.” “You can do better. “ “Give it your all”. But perfection is causing you misery and frustration.
Perfection is an illusion – it doesn’t exist.
Perfectionism arises from distorted thinking and is driven by fear, rather than inspiration. The ‘feeling’ we are looking for in a quest for perfection, is actually freedom – the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without restraint. And it comes from being courageous despite the fear and the part of you that wants to quit.
Perfection is often at the driving end of procrastination. Stealing from us the ability to change or get started on something new for ourselves.
Perfectionism is a kind of protective mechanism we develop from any number of life’s difficult lessons and hardships. It can be an emotional technique to soothe our anxious minds.
But I’d like you to think about the following… It feels good to do your best, but it also feels awesome to find time and priority for experiences that fill you up, not just to get you accolades on a project. That’s really narrowing your ability to enjoy your life!
Done is better than perfect. Give yourself permission to spend time on experiences and activities that bring you joy.
It’s a mindset shift
So, how do we throw perfectionism out the window and get working on the concept of Done? It takes some reworking of your thoughts and mindset and it’s about re-framing and re-focusing:
- Instead of working on perfecting something, focus on being present in what you are doing, rather than perfect. Do you feel you are doing well?
Are you producing good work, making good progress? Then stop here. Often times your best was long ago, but you reworked, rewrote and re-created so many times without improving.
Did you enjoy yourself, the activity?
- Get some perspective. Take a breath and ask yourself ‘Is this something that’s going to be important a year from now?’. If it is, then give it your all. If not, then maybe this is the place to give 50% effort and move on (remember your 50% is awesome).
- Welcome and celebrate smaller milestones. Don’t make it all about the ‘big finish’. Celebrate getting the project handled and on to the next step. Celebrate spending 30 minutes working smartly on something and move on with pride.
Done = freedom
As Gen-Xers our plates are full. To fit in the right balance of priorities it is a freeing act to accept the concept of DONE. Done is better than perfect. Practice saying this –it is liberating to move through activities so you can focus on other priorities. As a high achiever, your ‘done’ is likely very solid, even good. Get comfortable with that, and be proud of it.
GET UNSTUCK… TAKE CONTROL… MOVE FORWARD…
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