How To Beat Perfectionism And Still Do Your Best Work

I have a question for you…

When I say the word ‘Perfect’, what comes to your mind?

Does the thought trigger a picture of someone who’s absolutely organized, always does tasks effectively and with 100% efficiency?

Do you feel you have to be such a person? Or have you been trying to become someone like that lately?

Then, I have something important to tell you: You’ll Fail

Your desire to be perfect, always organized, effective and 100% efficient is ACTUALLY a very noble thing.

And it certainly gives you a good platform to begin. But overtime, it actually becomes a trap and starts to ruin you.

As a Life Coach, I have come across many people who fall into this self created trap.

In fact, many of my clients, who have  become super-effective through my coaching, have at some point of time ended up falling into the perfectionist trap before they reach out to me . They stay stuck in it and suffer a lot.

You’ll feel suffocated and dread about not being able to escape.

You’ll stop enjoying life because you feel inadequate and incompetent most of the time.

I know a lot of people who are heavily focused on things like:

  • Being a perfect partner
  • A Perfect friend
  • A Perfect manager
  • And so on

Continuing to walk this direction will only drain emotional energy and leave you unfulfilled.

Perfectionism is largely a function of wanting to live up to or meet certain expectations (real or imagined). The key to overcoming them is to change those expectations.

And here’s how to accomplish that…

Give Your Best To The Task At Hand:

If you’re always focusing on achieving the perfect outcome, I guarantee that you’ll become anxious and stressed. These feelings are more than enough to cause you to procrastinate and make the wrong decisions.

That’s exactly why I tell my clients to take things lightly, to rather focus on giving their best at the task without caring about the result.

Do not look at how you’ve failed in the past. Do not look at what will happen in the future.

Rather, focus on the task that you’re doing and give it your best.

Just start by identifying clearly what needs to be done, write down the steps needed to get it done and take action on it 1 step at a time.I call it ‘Keep it simple stupid (KISS)’

What You Focus On, Expands:

Let’s say that you make a mistake/error when doing X activity.

The result that you got from doing the activity is ‘Y’ – which makes you feel unhappy.

As a perfectionist, it’s natural to beat yourself up by thinking about the failure.

You might be using specific words or phrases to describe the mistake and you might be thinking about it multiple times.

The first step is to identify the exact words that you’re using to be critical of yourself and replace them with positive, constructive words and phrases.

Here’s an example…

You were supposed to be in a meeting at 8 AM and you were only able to make it at 8:30 AM.

Instead of telling yourself, “You’re never on time” or “You careless all the time. You knew the meeting was at 8 and you still didn’t leave early enough to be here on time”.

You re frame things in a constructive way. Now, there are two ways to re-affirm the situation in a constructive way (when you tell yourself):

Method 1:

“I am late today. From tomorrow, I’m going to be punctual no matter what. I will never ever be late again.

Method 2:

 “Yes. I agree I was late. I overslept and that’s why I was late. Next time, I’ll make sure that I go to sleep early enough so I get enough sleep and can wake up early and will be able to make the meeting on time”.

There a HUGE difference between using method 1 and method 2 type of self-talk.

There are many people that try to use self-talk and give up on it because they rely on method #1.

Here’s why method #1 does not work:

  • Involves general commitments
  • Does not get specific
  • Never attacks the root cause

In the situation above, the main reason why the person was late was because he woke up late. And he woke up late because he didn’t sleep early enough and ended up snoozing the  alarms.

So when you use method #2, you are attacking the root cause of the mistake and at the same time, reaffirming the situation in such a way that it gives room for constructive change.

The key to success with such self-talk affirmations when something goes wrong is REPETITION.

The moment you realize that you made a mistake, don’t beat yourself about it. Identify the root cause that led you to do that.

Make a note in your journal about the mistake (as soon as you get time). Now re frame the affirmation so it’s positive, constructive and attacks the root.

Repeat the affirmation to yourself about 10-12  times so it gets deep into your sub conscious . That’s exactly how you beat perfectionism while continuing to do your best work.

Would you like to learn how to get more done, create more free-time for yourself and make rampant progress on your important goals? Then go here:

Strategy Call

Working with a professional coach who can listen to your frustrations non-judgmentally and support you will help you get results faster.

Besides working with clients 1 on 1, I also engage with corporate teams through my “Group Coaching Sessions”.

Through these sessions, your team will learn to make powerful changes to their current engagement and improve performance. Here’s how I will help them…

  • Develop a die-hard attitude for their personal and professional lives
  • Create an empowering Successful Road-map
  • Double, triple or even quintuple their productivity

Are you an executive who’s looking to increase your team’s overall productivity? Then go here right now to get in touch with me…

Yes, Satish I want you to work with my Team

Yours Sincerely,

Satish Rao

PS: If you find this article helpful, I’d appreciate if you can spread the message with your friends and co-workers.