How To Stop Being A Perfectionist
Are you someone held back by perfectionism?
Whether it’s within your work, your business, your health, lifestyle and even relationships.
Are you always wanting it to be ‘perfect’ before you act?
I’ve been there, perfectionism held me back from hitting the levels of success I aimed to achieve with my business.
For years I wanted to offer value through YouTube videos. I learnt how to market them, I had an audience to work with but I didn’t put any videos out because they weren’t perfect.
My hair looked bad, the lighting wasn’t good, I needed a better camera, I hadn’t scripted what I was going to say…
The list of bullsh*t excuses goes on.
This perfectionism held me back, it stopped me from giving value to others and it stopped me growing my business.
Of course being a perfectionist does have it’s advantages but answer this…
Is it better to have an idea in your head which is perfect, or an idea which isn’t perfect but has been executed?
So many people sit on amazing business ideas because they don’t know how to perfectly execute them, but any action (good or bad) is better than keeping a perfect idea in your head.
In this post I want to share with you 3 principles that helped me overcome perfectionism.
These 3 principles are easy to grasp but often harder to execute.
Applying them consistently will help you overcome perfectionism.
Before I dive into them I want to share with you a statement which really shifted my mindset and helped me overcome my perfectionism.
Imperfect Actions Trumps Perfect Action.
In other words, acting on something imperfectly is more beneficial than making sure it’s perfect.
For example, lets say you want to lose 15kg within 3 months. Your perfectionism kicks in and tells you to find the ‘perfect’ workout plan that will get you those results. You spend weeks mastering the perfect plan, still struggle to get it perfect, and in the end don’t act upon it.
You’ve spent weeks working on a ‘perfect’ plan to get you results and you haven’t done anything.
On the other hand, if you wanted to lose 15kg within 3 months a better route would be to ignore your perfectionism, find something that’s worked, stick with it and consistently act upon it.
The workout you do might not be the most beneficial but it’s going to be more beneficial than ‘planning’ the perfect workout in your head.
Always strive to take action, even if it isn’t ‘perfect’.
As a perfectionist you’ll typically focus on the end result, rather than the process.
It’s time to get your head away from the ‘perfect’ end result and concentrate on getting there.
Focus simply means ‘Follow One Course Until Successful’.
You need to break down the end goal, create smaller goals to get there and enjoy the process.
I’ve often had students at The London College of Fashion dramatically confuse themselves with launching their online business.
“So I set up my website this way but what about protecting my brand identity? Then I have to worry about getting the visitors to make the sales, and I can’t forget the images, where am I going to get the images from?”
I tell them to slow down, and focus on one thing at a time.
They’re too busy focusing on the big vision and it’s daunting.
Focus on one thing, and understand that the process (the journey) will get you to the desired outcome.
2. Stop Worrying What People Think
One of the main reasons I put off my YouTube videos was because I worried what others would think.
Would they judge me if I said the wrong thing? If I didn’t dress smart?
What comments would I get?
I was so consumed about other peoples judgement of me I failed to look at how important it was to me and also others.
If you’re a perfectionist, do you worry what others think of you?
All in all the two biggest mindset shifts I had were simple.
First, I’m really not that important. The average person has 70,000 thoughts a day and they have their own fears, worries and sh*t to deal with. Little old me isn’t going to consume a lot of their thoughts.
Secondly, their judgement of me is a reflection of them… not me. It’s often to help their insecurities, to feed their ego, it isn’t a reflection on me.
More advice is covered here.
3. Define The End Goal & Strip It Back
This is similar to the first principle, but it’s about being more strategic with the process.
I explain more in How To Keep Your New Years Resolutions, but it’s about focusing solely on the smaller goals which will get you to your end vision.
If you look at Facebook, it was never perfect when Mark Zuckenberg launched it. In fact, it still isn’t.
It was launched, he got data (results) and he tweaked it. Over the years the company has grown with minor changes which are hardly noticeable to the consumer.
If Mr Zuckenberg put off launching Facebook until it was ‘perfect’ and like his end vision do you think it would be as successful as it was today?
It’s the same within relationships.
Instead of worrying so much about the end vision and how fulfilled you’ll feel in 30 years time focus on the now. Is the relationship fulfilling you now? What can you do now to make it better?
It’s good to have an end goal but focusing on the smaller goals that get you there will help you overcome perfectionism.
It’s Ok To Not Be Perfect
Being vulnerable is something a lot of people avoid, but it’s a strength that should be utilised more often.
It’s ok not to be perfect.
This obviously doesn’t mean slack and just get by with life, but stop putting off things because they’re currently not perfect and take imperfect action that will get you there.
Enjoyed this? If it’s helped comment below.
Share it with someone who might benefit too.
I’d appreciate it.