“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
― Ecclesiastes 11:4
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
You take pride in the fact that you are a perfectionist.
While it is proper to be thought detailed and oriented, too much of everything(as with “perfectionists”) becomes a curse.
I did that too. It is something we wrongly feel “proud” about.
We misinterpret it as setting a high standard but in truth, it stops you from doing what you have to do. You’d analyze, procrastinate and eventually abandon the project or it fails.
What is perfectionism?
“ The dictionary defines perfectionism as “the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.” One study describes it as “an irrational desire to achieve along with being overly critical of oneself and others.” Perfectionism is an unrelenting need to meet your or others’ expectations of yourself.” – Lifehack
Perfectionism is wrongly defined as “right” by self-acclaimed “perfectionists” who use this as an excuse to not start or get something done.
To help you, these are some action steps you can use to curb perfectionism
6 steps to curb Perfectionism
Accept you have a “problem”:
Perfectionism is not a blessing if it keeps you stuck. If you keep waiting for perfect conditions to get anything started or done, you’d never start.
Seeing this as a symptom of what it truly is? (as discussed earlier), you should acknowledge it for what it is – your fear of negative feedback
Acknowledging the presence of something loses it’s power over you, as you can start dealing intentionally with it. 90% of the solution of a problem is acknowledging that it exists
2. Think 2- steps ahead:
What are the consequences of your action if you do not start?
Learning to identify the consequences of your actions when it comes to being a “perfectionist” can give you the push to get started.
Think of what you lose in time. The time you’d never get back. Or the opportunity you could miss. Once you make the conscious decision to get better at something, you’d get out of your way
3. Believe you are enough:
I read something online that says “we are all embodiments of God” – i.e we are gods split into 7 billion unique Selves.
And when you think about the odds of you being born ( one in 400 trillion), you realize that you are indeed a MIRACLE.
This means you are enough. We tend to be too hard on ourselves – the negative self-talk, the harsh criticisms and this is not good.
Perfectionists tend to see the 3 things that went wrong on a project and ignore the 10 things that went right. You get pissed over one mispellled word in a 10,331-word article. This is why you should practice gratitude and seeing the good side of things that do go your way.
4. Do your best:
While you should always have high standards, doing your best means doing the best that day with all the information you have at hand.
If you wait to have all the information before you make any move, you’d never make any moves.
Once you understand this, you can do your best and leave the consequences no matter the outcome of results.
You would learn from any mistakes or when new and better information comes to light.
5. Embrace failure:
To make an omelet, you need to break some eggs, don’t know what an omelet is? (me too), to enjoy that sweet aboki’s, MIshai, he had to break some eggs.
Progress most times come from countless failure. I know this analogy has been used and flogged to death but I would use it to drive this point home anyway. Ever heard of Thomas Edinson and the light bulb? He tried and failed 1000 times before his success. The great Michael Jordan had this to say “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
So failure is an integral part of the process so learn to fail forward.
6. Practices make Perfect?:
What? Why would I say that?
I thought we were trying to defeat perfectionism?
Yes, we are and the quote is how you should redefine how you should see perfect.
See perfect as a result of progress which comes from doing the practice over and over again. Giving yourself room for practice means you have the time to get better.
But let’s not reach for perfect as there is no such thing. So from now, I want your new mantra to be
“Practice makes Progress”
Go out there and crush it!