Being a perfectionist is no good thing for one simple reason.
There’s no such thing as perfection.
As long as you keep chasing it, your thing doesn’t get done.
You’ll set ridiculously high goals.
When you fail to reach them, you’ll suffer crushing self doubt and feel like a fraud. Bring on Impostor Syndrome.
I have had clients who called themselves perfectionists. One springs to mind. Let’s call her Kathy.
Cathy was a Sales Director who’d had enough of the corporate world and wanted to set out on her own.
She’d spent a small fortune on her new website, branding and marketing material.
This had been going on for around six months before we met.
Cathy told me she was a bit of a perfectionist…
When I asked Cathy when she was going to launch her business, she said her site needing tweaking, the branding and marketing materials weren’t “quite there yet.”
This had been going on for months.
Nothing was happening.
After around 90 minutes it became apparent what had created this need for perfection.
Cathy adored her father. He was senior sales director for an international organisation.
Rarely at home.
Always trying to please him, Cathy could never match is high standards.
He always compared her to a colleagues daughter, a straight A student.
Here’s just one example of why Cathy became a perfectionist.
Dad came home from a business trip, just as Cathy had received a school report card.
Seven “A”s and one “B” – most parents would be thrilled that their child had done so well.
Not so with Cathy’s dad. He said he was disappointed because she’d gotten a B.
“****’s daughter got 8 “A”s. You’ll need to work harder next time.”
Cathy was devastated, she’d disappointed the single most important person in her life.
There were similar conversations leading poor Cathy to continuously work harder, trying to achieve the impossible.
As she grew older Cathy experienced plenty of success but at a cost.
Nothing she accomplished was ever good enough in her eyes. There was always room for improvement.
Bringing us full circle to Cathy’s inability to hit the go button, starting her new business.
You must learn that you are good enough.
You will make mistakes – take them in your stride. Find the learning points and move forwards.
Don’t wait until everything is perfect because you won’t get there.
Push yourself to act before it’s perfect. Better to launch when you’re 70% happy with things, than never getting started.
The “perfect time” doesn’t exist and your work will never be flawless. When you’re able to accept that, you’ll be happier and feel better off.
Stop letting perfection hold you back.
Are you a perfectionist?