So right now you may be saying “but I’m not a perfectionist”. Well, my first question then would be “do you procrastinate?” Procrastination can mask perfectionism AND the lack of self-confidence. If you lack self-confidence and give in to your underlying fears you’ll hesitate on taking action, and miss out on opportunities and people coming into your life.
Most perfectionists don’t even realize they are one. They cling to the belief that their obsessive pursuit of perfection is really just the definition of doing a “good job”. I SURE DID! And doing a “good job” meant I wasn’t letting people down. Letting people down used to be one of my huge fears that held me back from sharing any program I created…because I felt it needed to be “perfect” to be a good job.
So after a lot of soul searching, reasearching and reading a ton of books, I discovered areas in my life and my business that some of the negative perfectionist traits were actually holding me back from taking action on my dreams and goals.
Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of great things that come out of being on the perfectionist side. But I was determined to work on those negative perfectionist habits that were affecting me.
Now I am a work in progress and I even teach a workshop for others to learn how to recognize and work through perfection paralysis.
And you may not be a perfectionist, but you may have "pockets" of perfectionism. That's where you may have even just one pocket of perfectionism that holds you back in one area of your life...procrastination, fears or maybe you're just always getting ready to get ready.
So let me share with you today three of the most common ways perfectionism may be getting in YOUR way or holding you back, and a few tips to overcome:
Procrastinating: Procrastination is so closely linked to perfectionism. It can mask your perfectionism and your underlying fears. Think about it: What is making you delay your idea or your goals? By first identifying what is causing you to procrastinate, you can then start to overcome that fear, limiting belief, or lack of self-confidence. If you will be honest with yourself and pay attention, you’ll know when you are procrastinating. Your first step is to take a moment, right then, and think about WHY. Why did you procrastinate? What thought or thoughts came into your head right at the moment you procrastinated?
Discovery is the first tool, then you'll be able to attack the thought head on.
Never starting: Perfectionists want to be sure that the answer, the program, or whatever they are working on is flawless before they share it with others. They think unless there is a certainty, it’s safer NOT to act…always thinking they can make it better. WRONG! Taking imperfect action is the key to this. Ask yourself “what can I do this day/week/month” that can help create forward movement? Then take a baby step if nessessary to move forward.
TAKE IMPERFECT ACTION!
Fear of Failure: Perfectionists often focus more on what they don’t want (“if I screw this up I’ll look stupid”) rather than what they do want (“I want to help my prospects and clients enjoy a better life with what I can teach/help them with”) Refuse to see a failure as anything but a learning experience that propels you into your success. A failure is definitely not something you ARE, it is something you LEARN FROM.
Fear of looking weak or stupid: This was a hard one for me, and I had to dash my belief that people were looking at me and judging me if I did things wrong. I had to look around and see that most people really weren't looking at me like that because they were concerned more about themselves! And again, I had to realize that it was all a learning experience.
So what do you think? Can you see any perfectionism in yourself? Or maybe just a pocket or two of perfectionism…even small pockets of perfectionism can slow you down. I believe everyone has some perfectionism in them that can be holding you back from stepping into your greatness.