Today we are talking about how to stop being a perfectionist, and I’ve got five strategies to help you out with just that and get you over the whole perfectionist thing.
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Have you ever allowed your desire to do something perfectly, keep you from doing it at all? Shortly after joining Toastmasters two years ago, I had the worst perfectionism-induced, ego-bashing experience of my life. I had written an awesome second speech and practiced and polished it until it was absolutely perfect. On the day that I was to present it, I stood up in front of a room full of people and promptly forgot everything that I was going to say. It was horrible.
I finally managed to struggle my way through it and everyone was very nice in the evaluations, pointing out all the things that they liked about the speech, but I was devastated. The perfectionist in me was so focused on how badly I had screwed up on something that I had worked so hard on that I was completely unable to see anything good about my performance at all.
Perfectionists are people who strive for flawlessness in everything they do. They set exceedingly high performance standards for themselves and tend to be extremely critical when evaluating their own efforts and results.
The problem with perfectionism is that if you never feel like you measure up to your own standards, you’re constantly focused on negativity and always in a state of stress. Perfectionism can also lead to a habit of avoiding situations that could help you expand your skills and accomplish your goals, if the fear of failure overshadows the desire for growth.
After my disastrous speech I decided I had two choices: I could either slink away from the public speaking world with my cheeks burning and my head down, or I could pick myself up and try it again. I decided to take the second approach…
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I would like to share my thoughts as well:
Being a perfectionist can both be your worst enemy and your best friend depending on the fields you are in.
For some artists it has worked out really well, but from a business point of view its usually not very effective. Typically its the people who keep taking action “no matter what” who will make it far in life. They are not trying to make everything perfect, they are just making things work and sometimes that by itself is good enough to keep going and growing from the experience. When it comes to manifestation, the universe likes speed and most perfectionists are procrastinators which is a risky business to be in if food has to be brought to the table.
My advice is to just keep taking action and don’t overly analyze every little detail. Work on the greater aspect of things and make them work for you.
Hello Ian — welcome to Vibe Shifting and thank you for commenting. 🙂
I think that aspiring towards excellence is always a wonderful thing — whether in art or in business — but I do believe that when we strive for perfection, we interfere with our ability to achieve that excellence. Even with art, if you fear making mistakes, you won’t be able to excel in your craft. You have to be willing to make mistakes in order to improve your skills. It comes through experience — experience that perfectionists so often don’t accrue because they won’t take the chance on not doing it perfectly right out of the gate.
And I absolutely agree that that taking action – consistently – is the best way to go for manifesting success in life! 🙂