“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell
The women I work with have high-
But what happens when what you think is drive is really perfectionism. Perfectionism is the inner critic who disguises itself as quality and standards, but whose true motive is to hold you back.
What is perfectionism? It lives in the phrase, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
But as Brene Brown states, “Perfection often leads to depression, anxiety and missed opportunities due to fear of putting anything out in the world that could
be imperfect or
Perfectionism adheres you to unrealistic ideals of what you are supposed to accomplish. The result is that you are either overwhelmed trying to get it done perfectly, or you give up because you just can’t be perfect.
Perfectionism stops you from working on the most important things, and it blocks you from feeling the lift you get when you complete a task.
Here’s the real deal with perfectionism:
Perfectionism keeps you safely in the status quo, and if you were happy with the status quo you wouldn’t be a regular reader of this e-zine.
Perfectionism limits your ability to live the life you are meant to lead. You end up NOT doing anything because you tell yourself, “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I can’t do it at all.”
Perfectionism prevents you from the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
Perfectionism quickly leads you down the path of all-or-nothing thinking. But the truth is, doing it all perfectly is not sustainable.
Perfectionism disengages your team. When no one can do things better than you, they stop trying. It kills collaboration; it takes away accountability and leaves you stuck holding the bag.
Perfectionism really has nothing to do with productivity and accomplishment. It just holds you hostage and keeps you from living a life you love. Holding tight to an unbending expectation of accomplishment is like trying to pull a Mack truck down the road. You tug and heave until you are exhausted, then you give up because you moved nowhere, fast.
What can you do if you suffer from perfectionism?
Perfectionists take in an entire scenario with all of the possible outcomes in one moment. Instead, break the scenario into small doable actions. Schedule small chunks of action into your day. Delegate small, doable chunks of action. Learn and correct in small, doable chunks of action. Practice. Be curious about what happens when it doesn’t go exactly as planned. Allow the genius of others to light your path.
Today, practice one small thing that you will do to the best of your ability. See where it leads. What does it teach you?
And remember, it really is all about the journey. As Miles Davis once said, “Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”