How to Stop Being a Perfectionist
Perfectionism is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it motivates you to perform well, on the other hand it causes unnecessary stress and slowdown.
So, how to benefit from the positive aspects of perfectionism and protect from the negative aspects? Why does perfectionism come from?
Experts say about perfectionism:
“Fear and insecurity are actually the basis of perfectionism. People who believe in perfection worry that their performance will deteriorate without this thought. For this reason, they insist on perfectionism, although it hinders efficiency. If you really want to be a successful person, you have to tolerate some things being flawed. "
This is the opinion of the experts on perfectionism.
Now let's look at what should be done to get rid of the negative situations that perfectionism causes in business life.
1. See the Big Picture
A perfectionist will tell you that focusing on details takes an excessive amount of time, and achieving perfection takes an extreme effort.
A perfectionist will never settle for an average result, a passing note. Of course, you should also have such a mindset.
However, one should not overlook the cost opportunity of perfectionism in matters such as time and effort.
So ask yourself, “Am I using my time properly? Am I working really efficiently and productively? " you should ask.
In this context, you should work towards increasing the impact of your work. So you may be preparing a presentation in 3 hours, but you should not ignore how effective this presentation is on the customer.
Not being perfect on some subjects gives you time and opportunity to focus on more important issues. In this context, you should give up perfectionism for a job whose impact is marginal and devote your time and energy to more important jobs.
2. Be Open to Comments and Opinions
You also need to calibrate your standards to avoid the downsides of perfectionism.
For example, let's say you are preparing a report. While preparing this report, show the report to your colleagues and superiors throughout the process.
Your boss says, "Pretty good and enough." so you don't need to spend an extra 5 hours for a report.
However, while preparing this report by yourself without showing it to the boss, you would have worked for 10 hours. For this reason, do not forget to get the opinion of your colleagues when preparing a report. The feedback you receive from them helps you immensely in completing the report.
So by preparing a routine report, you won't be nominated for a Nobel prize. Therefore, complete this report by getting feedback, comments and suggestions from your surroundings.
3. Make a Checklist
The goal of perfection is a bit like embarking on a purposeless journey. You walk, you walk, but you have no idea whether you have reached the main goal.
Similarly, a perfectionist cannot leave the job he is working on and is generally not very satisfied with the result.
Therefore, instead of an abstract goal of excellence, prepare a concrete checklist. In this list, list the elements that should be included in your work and check this list as you progress through the work. This way, you will be sure to include all of the "perfect" elements in this work.
If you set out with an abstract, undefined and ambiguous understanding of excellence, you will never be satisfied with your work.
4. Don't Think Unnecessarily
One of the most common signs of perfectionism is pondering a dream or a project, but being stuck at the point of taking action.
This situation is essentially a sign of anxiety. Thinking too much about a project is unhealthy and unproductive. There is a difference between thinking about the solution of the problem and making a pointless thought work and it is necessary to break this meaningless thought chain.
The first step to getting rid of this vicious circle is to recognize it when you think too much unnecessarily. When you realize that your thoughts take a certain form, note where you are, what you are doing, what time it is, and who is around you.
In these long moments of thought, you should often focus on past negative events and experiences. Therefore, it is difficult to say that your thoughts about a certain project and plan are healthy.
Do different things to get rid of this vicious cycle of thought. For example, if you are at work, work on a different report that you haven't done in a while. A mundane 10-minute job that requires concentration will help you take control of your thoughts.
5. Exchange Ideas
Talk to other people about your approach to perfectionism. It could be your boss, colleague, mentor or spouse.
Be honest and transparent with them. Tell these people about your ideas on perfectionism.
"I want you to warn me when perfectionism is useless around me." Make a promise and ask those around you to adapt (wake you up) the moment you focus on unnecessary details.
6. Track Your Progress
Track your progress weekly as you try to take control of your perfectionist tendencies.
“Is there anything I gave up this week for fear of making mistakes?
"Are there moments when it is not worth running a flawless study?"
At this point, your aim should be to try to understand in which situations perfectionism benefits you and in which situations it is not.
What a Perfectionist Should Do
Find out when a job needs to be completed with outstanding performance. Sometimes just finishing is a worthwhile goal.
Track your progress. Identify the moments when you control your perfectionist tendencies.
Calibrate your standards. Something you say or write does not have to be the "last word". Sometimes doing something useful is enough. So do not aim for success above your every action.
What a Perfectionist Shouldn't Do
Do not go into unnecessary thoughts while solving problems. When you get confused and get away from the subject, do things that break the vicious circle.
Prepare a checklist for your work. Move through this list. Don't set yourself ambiguous, abstract, and undefined goals of excellence.
Stacy Caprio tells you about her situation.
Stacy Caprio's perfectionism was causing her not to do some work.
“I never wanted to start that job when I didn't know exactly how to do it. The desire for perfection put a stone in my path and prevented me from trying new things. "
Working in a digital marketing agency in the first period of his career, one of the duties of Caprio was to review and tag customers' websites. In this way, information about the sales and earning rates of customers was obtained.
Stacy Caprio, who had no prior experience with website tagging, was terrified of making mistakes.
"I wanted to do my job well and to be seen that I was doing my job well."
Caprio was spending time with e-mails and other marketing campaigns instead of gaining experience and knowledge, starting somewhere in this field with no experience and knowledge. In other words, his main job he had to do was pass by for fear of "what if he is not perfect".
“I couldn't get this job out of my mind, though. This tagging job came to my mind whenever I tried to do something new. I mean, I couldn't really concentrate on other jobs. "
Although Stacy Caprio was aware of this situation, she could not break the vicious circle. But eventually he realized that his mindset had to change, and he realized that completing a job was more important than making it perfect.
The change in Caprio's mindset was influenced by the fact that famous writers wrote the first draft at once and then made the necessary arrangements on what they wrote.
“I realized that the first try would not be perfect. The first try might even suck, but it's not the end. It can be made better by making various arrangements on it. The moment I caught this logic, I prevented perfectionism from hitting my life. "
Stacy Caprio is an entrepreneur who started her own business today. Caprio, who advises people about doing additional work on his website, Her.ceo, also writes a blog to tackle the downsides of perfectionism.
“Just because you think something is perfect doesn't mean it's perfect. You should also consider people's comments and suggestions. In order to get any comments from people, it is necessary to put a good or bad product. After presenting the first product, you realize what needs to be corrected and improved like everyone else. The important thing is to have the courage to put something good or bad and to take action. ”