The double edged sword, the thing we all unconsciously strive for, the definition that differs from person to person and the element that usually holds us back from stepping into our true potential.
The desire to have everything 'exactly' how we want them to be. Whether in business, romantically, physically and emotionally. The comparison trap, and the one thing that will never leave our inner and outer circle.
Somebody once said to me that Perfectionism is just in fact an element of of Imposter Syndrome, the beliefs we tell ourselves that we aren't good enough to be doing what we are doing until we are perfect. Now whilst many believe perfectionism provides us the ability to do what we do impeccably, it can often slow us down and cause unnecessary anxiety.
The world we live in encourages perfectionism, to the point that the younger generation are struggling to 'keep up' appearances in all manners. Here at Powerful Leaders we believe in the power of Social Media, however, Social Media is often where our inner insecurities towards perfectionism comes from. Whether achieving the perfect body, or creating that 7 figure year.
A lot of you may be reading this and nodding to yourself, knowing full well that you do in fact have elements of perfectionism within you, which is great because you are self-aware enough to see how it may be impacting your life as we speak. Even though there are many advocates out there telling us that we are 'good enough', it is still very easy to fall into the perfectionist trap due to societal pressures.
One study called; Doing better but feeling worse researchers found that:
“Students with high maximizing tendencies [obsessive, perfectionist behavior] secured jobs with 20 percent higher starting salaries than did students with low maximizing tendencies.”
However, what the research also highlighted was that that same group was also less satisfied and unhappier during job search & obtaining the role.
So how can we manage perfectionism tendencies in a world filled with perfectionism?
Understand what your triggers are when you are trying to lean into perfectionism, write them down and ask yourself; why are these feelings coming up? Are there particular times of the day? Particular events? Particular tasks? Highlight these and talk them through - if you don't need to have them in your everyday, look at adapting.
Comparing yourself to somebody who is doing 'better' than you will only make it worse. Understand that you are on your own journey and failures are necessary for growth. If you want to lead, you have to show up through all your phases.
Understand what the gap is between your current perfectionist standards are and what's going on around you. Author of "When Perfect Isn't Good Enough: Strategies for Coping with Perfectionism" states;
“Are your standards higher than those of other people? Can you meet your standards? Are other people able to meet your standards?...What would the costs be of relaxing a particular standard or ignoring a rule? What would the benefits be of relaxing a particular standard or ignoring a rule?”
Understand that not everything is going to be 100% first time. You should be surrounding yourself with those around you that can lift you up, provide constructive feedback and allow you to flow in your zone of genius. Try 70/30: Provide 70% first round, and build as a team on the final 30. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Finally, remember that perfectionism is normal, however it can and will be counter-productive to where you really want to go in life and business. So take each day as it comes, and grow with your self-awareness.