If you were perfect you wouldn’t be believable.
We’re all guilty of this at one point or another.
“Sorry, I’m just such a perfectionist!” usually after a request to edit or change something? Or maybe it was a cop-out for not approving or moving forward? *I just saw Khloe do this in regards to her house or a businessman in regards to a project he’s delegating but not participating in.*
Either way, the person saying they’re a perfectionist usually says so proudly; as if they have standards so high they cannot be met.
And the person receiving that information cringes, moans and groans….or just smiles politely.
Using the excuse of perfectionism is another way of saying you’re not ready, you’re not able and you’re not willing. You are not ready to move forward with something as simple as a social media post, you’re not able to deal with playing or testing methods and you’re not willing to be told no or experience failure or, more likely, a slight inconvenience.
Not all of this is meant to sound harsh. Maybe you have proclaimed yourself a perfectionist. I am sure you say this with all the best intentions and pride. Maybe you’re aware of what your standards are and the repercussions they’ve had for you, your success or your team. The question is how do we manage ‘perfectionism’ to get things done and avoid stalling on improvement or success? We want you to have high standards. You should expect the most and the best. You should also get the job done and know that something to improve upon is better than nothing being put out.
Work and life are complicated enough without that extra layer of trying to be who you aren’t.” -Ben Lamm
Dealing with perfectionism is often confused with a struggle of giving up control. Trust me, I thrive with control and knowing what is coming up. If I can schedule it, manage it, lead it, plan it or review it, I likely will. You remember back to when you were doing class projects? I was the one who organized and structured everyone’s jobs to get the ball rolling instead of awkwardly sitting wondering where to start.
I see action and as a process to move forward. I see perfectionism as a paralyzing excuse to avoid action.
No one likes busy work and no one likes putting in a lot of time for work that never sees the light of day or serves a purpose. Remember all of our conversations about doing what makes you happy, doing what you’re good at and leaving the other things to people who are great at their job? If not check out this and this and this….basically anything we have ever talked about.
Everyone has a productive work day and still has time to go home to their personal life and enjoy it. If you find yourself researching every ‘What if’ and ‘Just in case’ then you’re not focusing on the work that needs to be done. If you’re concerned about your finances, contact a tax expert or financial planner. If you’re concerned about a product development, consult manufacturers and distributors. If you’re concerned about the marketing please, contact us. These are concerns because you’re entering into unknown territory and, if your perfectionism is actually you wanting to do your best, why wouldn’t you be open to receiving help?
Owning my own business I, too, understand the realities of getting the most accurate and influential first impression of myself, my business or a product. I understand the way a brand represents itself will be how people perceive the brand to represent them. More so than fighting perfectionism and being afraid of failure pivot your mindset to fearing how perfection can stall your business and wear down your team.
“Perfectionism is a dangerous state of mind in an imperfect world.”
The best place to seek what to do next is from people who have been there before (remember?) Humans seek to understand the world and we also seek to understand it through questions. We find networking groups, we ask questions, we request advice…and if it’s advice through people who have been there before. This is called a board of advisers. A trusted group of like-minded people who have been where you currently are in business. What have they done (or wish they’d done) in your situation?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be it from the people mentioned above, people on your team or a search for professionals in your area. If you want to focus on your business and prefer to request help around the house, do it. Ask for the time to be maximized by focusing on what only you need to do. Nothing is temporary, good or bad, so accept the help while you can.
Give up the idea that you have to physically have your hands on everything in order to work. If only you can approve and do the job what happens when you’re not there? What happens if you get in an accident, have a family vacation or want a break? What happens if you lose your voice and can’t talk? Who around you do you trust enough to help carry out these duties?
If you find that your business cannot run without you, you do not have a successful business. If your business has to depend on just you to get anything done you will get nothing done. A business that lasts is one that you’ve built a strong foundation for that will last a lifetime. Aim for longevity, ego aside. Understand that the more descriptive you can be, the closer to your desired outcome a project may be. If you cannot give clear direction as a leader you’re not a leader of people; you’re a representative for confusion and chaos. Understand that mistakes still happen and learning curves are inevitable for any age or position.
Embrace perfection and imperfection. Life is not perfect. Humans are not perfect. Nothing is perfect. Don’t lose faith in your dream or mission because things don’t go perfectly. Take imperfect action! Accept the outcome and, no matter if it’s the one you were hoping for or not, learn from it and move forward.
Perfectionism is just an excuse
Don’t get so caught up in details of the work that you miss the larger picture of what you’re doing. Be proud of every little thing you’ve done instead of obsessing over them. Be dedicated but understand you’re doing bigger things than a typo on a social media post. Use the gifts of your perfectionism for the greater good and pair it with the ability to effectively communicate. Be shameless in the pursuit of betterment even when it means facing what you need to improve upon.
You’ve got your mind on the big picture but struggle to focus on all the small things to carry it out? Great. Use that.
You’re vision is so specific and clear but maybe you struggle with telling others how to execute that vision? Great. Now what do we do with that?
You’re so fearful of people judging what you put out that you avoid putting anything out into the world? What if people love it? What happens when you’ve put it out anyway and they used it, enjoyed it, loved it, praised it?
What you have is useful and if you’re not telling the world about it, they can’t use it.
Strive for progress not perfection.
I hope you look closely and un-objectively to your faults and weaknesses. I hope you realize your potential and your strengths. We want you to get back to working on what makes you happy and let us do the rest. If you want a look at your business, please visit our website and request a review.
Realizing your brand needs a new set of eyes on it?