Raise your hand if you’re a self-proclaimed perfectionist. You too huh?
Obsession with “getting it perfect” to avoid criticism and failure.
Did you know perfectionism is one of the biggest confidence killers?
The pursuit of perfection can be crippling. This perfectionist thinking mostly plagues women.
If perfection is your standard, of course you will never be fully confident, because the bar is always impossibly high, and you will inevitably and routinely feel inadequate.
I used to think perfectionism was about having a high standard for myself. But it was actually an excuse I used to procrastinate on something I didn’t have much confidence around. It was my way of insulating myself from criticism.
In a previous FB video, I shared how action is the antidote to self-doubt. Well, here’s the rub, perfectionism keeps us from action. Perfectionism is the greatest form of procrastination.
We don’t answer questions until we are totally sure of the answer. We don’t submit a report until we’ve edited it to death. We don’t sign up for that triathlon unless we know we are faster and fitter than is required.
We manage to extend the perfectionist disease to our entire lives. We obsess about our performance at home, at school, at work, on holiday, and even at yoga class. We obsess as mothers, as wives, as cooks, as sisters, as friends, employees, bosses, and athletes.
Here’s the secret I discovered: perfection is NOT possible. Looking for it will only hold you back. Why are you driving yourself crazy over something that isn’t even attainable?
Let’s say you get anxious in social situations and you want every conversation to be perfect. That’s never going to happen. You can have a good, even great conversation but not a perfect one. So instead, you avoid connecting with people. You’re missing out on the joys of being part of things.
You’re standing on the side-lines instead of getting in the game, all because you fear being judged or rejected because you aren’t perfect.
Perfectionism comes at a cost. It keeps us stuck in the cycle of self-doubt. As harsh as it sounds, it is an EXCUSE to avoid something we don’t like or we don’t have much confidence around.
It keeps us from putting our great ideas and our great selves out into the world.
I invite you to join me and be imperfect. Be ruthless, hardworking, driven, insightful, kind, open to constructive criticism, and most importantly be yourself.
An imperfect you is always better than an incomplete life.