Don’t get me wrong, perfectionism is not all bad.
In fact, perfectionism helps you work hard by mastering your skills and routines. However, most perfectionistic traits are not effective in helping you stay confident and composed and in addition, there are some real disadvantages.
When you don’t reach the expectations you set for yourself, it is easier to become frustrated, resulting in a loss of composure. Many perfectionists struggle with fear of failure. This causes a loss of composure especially when under stress because you focus on avoiding failure and as a result, you become easily anxious about results. This is the wrong place for your attention because outcomes are typically out of your control.
The pursuit of perfectionism can be exhausting and stressful. Your anxiety about making mistakes can interfere with putting your best foot forward. Implementing the following steps can help you relax and learn to take life as it comes.
Steps to Take With Yourself…
1. Learn from your mistakes
Realise that mistakes are your friends. Successful people typically make lots of mistakes because they take more risks. As long as you let your errors teach you how to do better next time, you’ll be making progress.
2. Identify more reliable sources of fulfillment
Perfectionism is frequently a sign of being overly concerned with prestige, material possessions and other external factors that are prone to sudden change. Your peace of mind will increase when you shift your focus to cultivating loving relationships and a positive outlook.
3. Break jobs down into simple steps
Procrastination can set in when you find it difficult to start a task because you’re worried about getting every detail right. Get moving by taking it one step at a time. For example, create a step-by-step plan for your new initiative rather than thinking about tackling the whole project in one go.
Save time by deciding when you need to be meticulous and when it’s okay to improvise. A detailed itinerary is useful for a business trip, but you can just enjoy whatever happens when you spend an afternoon playing with your children.
5. Do things for the fun of it
Observe how you feel when you’re engaged in an activity without any scorekeeping. Aim to hold onto the peaceful state of mind you experience while chopping vegetables or grooming your dog (or in our house, the cat!)
6. Find relaxation techniques that work for you
Studies show that people with a tendency for perfectionism build up higher levels of some stress hormones. Calm down with meditation, instrumental music or a massage.
Steps to Take in Your Relationships With Others…
1. Take the pressure off your children
The ingredients for healthy child development include reasonable expectations and opportunities for unstructured play. Children can enjoy swimming without having to attempt to set Olympic records.
2. Praise your children for their efforts
In the long run, a hard-earned B may be worth more than an easy A. Give your child a big hand for persisting with their maths homework however long it takes.
3. Take pleasure in other people’s victories
Perfectionism can make you feel like a loser when you compare yourself to others. Turn that around by rejoicing in other people’s successes. This mindset will also enrich your relationships.
4. Talk about your struggles
It’s a great hardship to go through life feeling as if you must conceal your weaknesses. Sharing your challenges with others may help you find more support and gives other people the freedom to do the same.
5. Welcome feedback
Negative self-talk can make you apprehensive about criticism from others. Face the situation head-on by asking for feedback. People usually appreciate being asked for their input and you’ll get valuable information.
6. Practice tolerance
Surgery needs to be precise, but many other things can withstand a little give and take. For example, if your colleague takes a different approach to you when preparing a report, rest assured you and your company will both survive even if your colleague does the report writing.
7. Take charge of your own happiness
As you recognise that your happiness comes from within, you’ll feel less need to try to control your environment and the behavior of others. Focus on maintaining your peace of mind even when things go wrong or just turn out different from what you expected.
Ease the pressure on yourself and others. By overcoming your perfectionism, you’ll enjoy more happiness and feel more energy. It’s actually easier to pursue excellence when you set realistic goals and know how to learn from your mistakes.
Here’s to your success!
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I’m passionate about inspiring people to tap into their unique talents and strengths – to be the best they can be – to fulfill the potential they always knew they had. It’s not about ‘fixing’ you. Rather, it’s about helping you access the best part of yourself so you’re able to make the changes, release the dragons and powerfully step into your brilliance.
If you are interested in performance coaching, try my free 20-minute introductory session. Just respond to this email with your name and what challenges you are having – I’ll then arrange a time and date for us to chat by phone or face-to-face.
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Mark Russell Inspired Performance Coaching – Dedicated to Your Success.