Perfectionism: If you’re anything like me, we’ve lived with things in total disarray for so long that we’ve kind of got used to chaos. And we tell ourselves that if we’re going to fix things this time, we’ve got to make it ‘right’. “No point in doing a half-baked job of fixing this”, we tell ourselves. The only trouble is that we somehow can’t see the way to make it perfect. What does perfection look like? What do we need to do? What order should we do it? It all seems too complex, so we sit down have a cup of coffee (or a wine) and think some more about it!
Does that sound familiar to you? “I can’t start yet because I don’t have everything I need”, or “the plan isn’t quite right”, or, even, “I can’t quite picture it yet.” Yes these are all signs that your inner perfectionist has taken the upper hand. It’s telling you that you can’t possibly succeed because you haven’t got what it takes to make it perfect. There are lots of very personal drivers of perfectionism that lead to long-term procrastination. Here are just a few you might recognise:
- All-Or-Nothing thinking
- Critical Eye
- “Push” vs “Pull” motivation
- Unrealistic standards
- Blind Focus on results
- Depressed by Unmet Goals
- Fear of Failure
- Low Self Esteem
Well, don’t worry, NOTHING in this life is perfect! That’s right NOTHING in this life is perfect! So the question changes from ‘How do I do this perfectly?” to “How close to perfect does this need to be?”
Well, one of the best cures for procrastination, and for keeping your perfectionism at by, is to take action…ANY ACTION. Find a single task, that will take 15 minutes or less, and do it. That’s right, JUST DO IT. There is no need to worry about the ‘master plan’. Nobody is watching. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a small part of something much bigger. JUST DO IT. Then stop. That’s right, STOP.
Now, step back and see what you’ve achieved. It’ may not be finished; it may not be perfect…. but it’s a start. Do a few more like these and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll get a sense of achievement and begin to realize the power of ‘IMPERFECT ACTION’ can be.
If you feel trapped by your perfectionism, or you can’t mobilise past your procrastination, why not give us a call?