Learn how to beat perfectionism by applying these life-changing hacks.
Do you know who is a perfectionist is and do you know how to beat perfectionism and anxiety?
Society is always pushing us to be our all time best so being a perfectionist can easily become an obession.
I know the subject a little too well because I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist myself, or, at least I used to be.
Being a perfectionist made me think that my perfection was helping me achieve great things, whereas, it was actually holding me back.
Today, I want to share the downfalls of being a perfectionist, the cause, and how we can overcome them.
Let’s get into it.
How it all started – The Perfectionist:
I always used to take pride in the fact that I was a perfectionist.
I used to self-sabotage a lot by stopping myself from starting projects with the excuse of:
“Everything isn’t aligned right now”.
“It’s not the right time”
“I don’t have the right resources”.
And I thought it was a good thing because it gave me time to perfect my skill.
But what it ended up doing, was holding me back and it didn’t give me the chance to grow through the process.
I was stuck in an unending cycle of ‘perfection or nothing‘, making me miss so many opportunities.
We all face those moments where we feel like everything has to be perfect and the timing has to be right for us to make decisions.
That shouldn’t be the case because when we allow ourselves to become victimized by that, it does us more harm than good.
Definition of perfection:
“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.” – Anne Wilson Schaef
The truth about perfectionism is that it’s a dupe.
Perfectionism oftentimes is really just the fear of rejection.
We fear what people might think of us if what we have submitted isn’t our best work.
We fear what they may say or if they might be disappointed in us.
Let’s say you want to start a business. Most people fall into this trap of overthinking:
‘I need to have my business cards first’
‘My website isn’t complete’
‘I have to create my business plan.’
Of course, all of that is important, but we spend so much time on the technicalities of the business, that we don’t get to actually start the business.
And the reason why we never get to the stage of completion is because we are too focused on how incomplete and imperfect it is.
We are scared people are not going to like our website or our business idea so we keep working on it relentlessly.
It’s really that fear of rejection that holds us in that spiral of perfectionism.
So, understanding that it’s not about what others think but more about your vision, helps you beat perfectionism and anxiety.
At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself.
Are you really a perfectionist or are you just scared of what others might think of you?
You have to look deep inside of you and come to terms with your fears and what’s really stopping you.
Most of the time, we are not even looking at our efforts but we are more focused on what others might think.
Eventually, you need to understand that it is okay to navigate through things you don’t know too well.
You don’t have to have it all figured out.
What matters most is how you react and how willing you are to learn.
And ultimately, what perfectionism leads to is procrastination because the more you want to be perfect, the more you delay your work.
How to overcome perfectionism and procrastination:
1. Understanding that the fear that you have is not going away.
Fear is part of the human package. It is natural to feel fear.
But we have to understand that, no matter how high or how far we go, there will always be fear.
For instance, the fear of rejection, loss, the unknown, not being enough, etc.
If you look at some of your influencers or celebrities, even when they get on stage to perform, they do say they feel fear.
It never goes away but the goal is to not let it dominate you.
In that same aspect, if you’re planning on starting a project, you have to realize that, that fear of what people might think of you will always be there.
You just have to push through and do it regardless.
I recommend reading the book ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers for more insight.
I remember hating cold showers as I grew up.
You would think I got used to it but no, it is always a dreadful experience for me.
But once I get past that fear and I pour the cold water on me, I realize it isn’t that bad after all.
It always leaves me feeling more plumped and invigorated.
It’s all in the head, along with the fear of starting a business or project.
Your thinking and the process you go through never really change.
Though, the key here is to understand that, your fear will never go away.
You just have to fight through it and win the battle of the mind.
Everything is worth it once you overcome your fears.
2. You are always going to be distracted.
We are in a fast moving society so there will always be distractions.
At the end of the day, there is never going to be a right time to launch your business or to start working on a project.
On top of dealing with the pressure of starting, there will always be so many distractions around you.
There is always going to be someone you can hang out with, a new series you need to watch, a new adventure, etc.
And because we are perfectionists, we will tend to procrastinate those things and do them later on.
However, you ought to realize that, NOW is the right time. NOW is the only time.
Because at the end of the day, tomorrow isn’t promised and the opportunity you have today may not be there tomorrow.
There is no greater sorrow than a missed opportunity.
So remember that there will always be things that try to pull you away from your focus.
Nevertheless, you need to be above them and push through the distractions.
Now, I have a question for you:
Are the distractions worth it? Are they worth your success?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun but is spending time with your friends more important than building your business?
In life, we always have to set our priorities right.
Dedicate the necessary time and efforts needed for you to attain your goals.
Therefore, once your priorities are set, you won’t allow any other thing to distract you from building the life you want.
3. There is no perfection without completion:
How can you perfect something that isn’t done yet? You just can’t.
You have to start in order to see the errors or mistakes that need to be rectified as you move ahead.
That is why as perfectionists, we get stuck because we try so hard to perfect something that hasn’t even taken off yet.
If we look at developers, they always release beta versions of the apps they create.
WHY? In order to test the project to find errors and failures.
They get feedback from the users and they improve it to release a better version.
They never release a product that hasn’t been tested yet.
So, do not be scared. Release that blog. Start that channel without it being perfect and through time, you will perfect it.
Give yourself room to be better and to make better choices. No one starts perfectly.
In fact, it is through those imperfections that people will relate to you.
It is through those imperfections that people will notice the change and improvements you are making.
Being imperfect makes you human so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Start with what you have and with time, you will get to where you want to be.
What to remember:
There is no such thing as perfection and I am sure if it existed, you wouldn’t want it.
Why? Because after perfection, there is nothing left.
No room for growth, no room for progress. You are just stagnant.
The fun part of the process is reaching a goal and then making plans for the next one.
Such a mindset makes you excited for tomorrow. It makes you hope for a better future.
You should never underestimate the power in what you create.
To you, it may seem imperfect and not worthy, but to someone else, it could be life-changing.
That is the beauty of creating something, no matter how small or incomplete it may be.
But you will never know the impact you have unless you start.
So start now!
Even if you do want to achieve some sort of perfection, you need to do these simple steps:
- Start the project
- Complete the project
- Edit/improve the project as you move forward.
At some point, you have to take ownership of your life and realize that your life could be messy and it isn’t perfect.
But we shouldn’t try to be perfect.
We should simply try to be better and do what we were called to do on this earth.
In life, there is raw talent and there is someone who works hard enough to have the talent you have.
So, while you may have it easy, others won’t and simply because you have the talent, doesn’t mean you will have the opportunities.
Think of your raw talent as your beta sample. It is good but with feedback, and you working some more on it, it will be excellent.
But you have to express the raw talent first.
Attaining perfection could be toxic if we are solely focusing on the end product instead of the process.
Your goal should be striving for continuous growth instead of perfection.
So you shouldn’t fear starting a new project. Embrace that fear and do great things.
Through those little steps, you will be able to share your greatness with the world and impact lives more than ever.
Let go of the idea of being perfect. You don’t need to have it all figured out.
Start with what you have and build progressively.
Slowly, but surely.