If you're struggling with perfectionism and need things to be perfect before you start (I'm there with you - even as I'm writing this post I have to give myself permission for it not to be perfect! 😂 ), I want to give you this to think about today...
"Perfection" doesn't exist.
There is no universal standard of perfection, it's all made up in our minds.
Those of us who have perfectionist tendencies or are a 1 in the Enneagram want to do things at an exceptionally high standard in order to not get criticized by others.
We don't want to get hurt, so we use those (imaginary) standards as a shield to protect ourselves from criticism and rejection.
It's really innocent, but it's just an illusion.
Now, striving for high standards, being detail-oriented, and caring about delivering amazing quality is our gift! But when the need for perfection is slowing us down / preventing us from taking the next aligned step, we need to have a closer look and clear it so it doesn't hold us back.
Here's how you can let go of the need to be perfect so you can move into aligned action toward your goals. 👇
1) Do the inner work around perfectionism.
Slow it down and find out how perfectionism is trying to serve you. What do you get for waiting until things are perfect?
Just last week I worked through my perfectionism in a coaching session (which inspired this article) and I realized that I had unconsciously made a connection that by doing things "perfectly" and not making any mistakes, people won't be able to reject me and it will mean that I'm "good enough".
All of this, of course, happens in the unconscious without us being aware of it, but the unconscious mind is what drives 95% of our behavior. So when we become consciously aware of why we're trying to do things perfectly, it helps us understand our pattern better and gives us back the power so we can actually change it.
Some powerful questions to help you make the unconscious material around perfectionism conscious:
If I do it perfectly, then....
If I don't do it perfectly, I fear...
2) Give yourself permission to lower your standards and start before you're ready
My hypnotherapist told me this once and it really stuck with me: If you have perfectionist tendencies, your standards are incredibly high, whereas most people's standards are muuuuuch, muuuuuch lower than yours.
So even if you give about 50% of what you're giving right now that's more than enough. Most people will perceive your work as being at a very high standard as it is.
3) We grow by doing and being in action, not by being "perfect".
There's no growth in perfectionism. In fact, we often do less because we put so much energy into every single step and every detail.
The biggest lessons can only be learned when we're in messy action, in the arena, having a lived experience & receiving feedback from the world.
So give yourself permission to make mistakes, to be imperfect and messy, and to grow and improve while you're in action.
And trust me - being in action is much more fulfilling than producing / creating something "perfect" every once in a while.
Are you willing to take this as an invitation to take messy action this week and to start before you're ready? Let me know in the comments below. 👇
I hope this serves you.
With all my love & gratitude