How long does it take to reach perfectionism? Perhaps being perfect is more about the journey rather than the destination? You don’t ever reach it, but rather the steps you take on the way to attaining perfectionism are what’s really important.
So, if that’s the case why do we worry about being perfect? Why do we delay our projects or take things slow, until our end product is completely perfect? There may be a reason for this, and that reason is because we are scared of something.
Scared of what actually? And what is the relationship between fear and perfectionism? It’s that often we use perfectionism as an excuse or shield to protect us from what we fear most. Maybe that’s being judged, or leaving our comfort zone, or being seen as a failure?
The important thing here is; we should put effort and pride in our work. However we also need to take a good look at ourselves, especially if you are finding things take a lot of time to complete. At what point does continuous improvement become pointless perfectionism?
We’re going to talk about the relationship between perfectionism and fear, and what kind of fear exactly?
Fear Of Being Judged
One of the most common reasons we seek out perfectionism is to avoid the judgement of others. We cling to the words of loved ones and the people we respect, so when they say negative things to us it can really hurt. We may not want to continue with our ideas or goals in fear of being judged.
A great way to hide away from judgement is through procrastination. However, when a leader begins to procrastinate, things can be bad for the whole team. If you’d like to read about the relationship between procrastination and micromanagement, check out this article here.
It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of constantly studying instead of actually getting out there and doing something. Why? Because it might be easier for us to just stay in this cycle rather than actually be judged for wanting to dream or for making mistakes.
Here is a truth I would like to share to you; if you are worried about the judgement of others.
No-one really has any time to judge or follow what you are doing. Everyone is too busy looking after their own plate of food, to worry about someone else’s.
So don’t worry about what others have to say either. If they are so busy with your work, take it as a sign of appreciation. Because they’d rather watch you succeed instead of bring that success in their own lives.
Bring the right people into your life
Also, if you feel your life is full of these kinds of people who don’t have anything to contribute and would rather just make judgements about your life, then you don’t need them.
Find a group of like minded others. A tribe who shares the same passions, drives, and feelings as you. If you recognize that the support you need is not coming from your own network, why not find it elsewhere? Why are you trying to get something out of someone who has made it clear they will not give it to you?
You can still be social with them, in the case of friends and family, but you no longer need to share your aspirations and goals with them if all they are going to do is bring you down. Find those who will bring you up and cherish them!
Fear Of Leaving Your Comfort Zone
Perfectionism can act as a shield that we prop up when things become too difficult. We will delay publishing that article, re-shoot that video, and try again and again rather than actually get out of our comfort zone.
Why is this?
Something along our journey has caused us to feel uncomfortable. And our brain really does not like to feel uncomfortable. At the first sign of discomfort, our brain is already sending us messages to “get out” or to quit.
” Follow the crowd, and don’t stand out. Why try something new when the old methods worked just fine? Why take a risky decision? It might backfire on you! “
Our brain will do everything it can to make us avoid these things.
The first thing you need to do is stop the negative self-talk. You need to turn the volume down on that voice that is always saying you shouldn’t so things.
Secondly you need to understand that yes some of these things are difficult, there may not be a reward at the end of it, and they will make you feel uncomfortable. However these things are necessary for your personal growth. Furthermore, your business success may only be possible through these particularly uncomfortable things.
Getting used to the bitter taste of discomfort also makes someone very resilient. And resilience is something every businesswoman needs. Because there will be people telling you you aren’t good enough. There will be those who want to bring you down.
All this is just training. If you can bare the discomfort, you will be able to move on in the face of adversity and in the face of others’ negativity. And this ultimately will make you a stronger businesswoman.
Fear Of Failure, Or Fear of Experimenting
What can the fear of putting yourself out there also encourage? If you were to get out of your comfort zone, and deal with all the judgement and skepticism, what could very likely happen? You could fail. It’s highly likely that you might fail.
JK Rowling’s books were rejected N amount of times by publishers. So in some way, even though she managed to send her manuscript for someone else to judge. She failed a bunch of times. Of course, she didn’t give up. And we know where that story goes…
So you might not actually be trying to avoid the fear of leaving your comfort zone. But you might actually be trying to avoid the fear of failure.
Because what does it say about you if you fail? How do you rank your abilities or your skills in the face of failure?
Here is where we need a mindset change.
Just because you fail does not necessarily mean you are bad at your skill or craft. One failure does not negate the years you spent at university, or the time you’ve spent developing your business.
Quite often we fail because of situations that are out of control. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Or perhaps we were speaking to the wrong crowd.
These are not always reflections of who you are as a person or what your skill level is. You just need to keep going. Change the environment, change the situation and see if things are any better.
Trying over and over, is a way to reaffirm your convictions. How committed are you to this business goal really? Your reactions to failure will prove this. And that’s why tasting a bit of discomfort, and building that resilience, is so important.
But what if it really was you. What if you were the reason for failure? There is nothing wrong with that. Accepting responsibility with reason and positivity is also a vital skill for businesswomen.
We are always learning, always improving
If you can identify what you did wrong, the only thing left to do is change and improve.
Maybe your writing skills need more practice. Perhaps you need a different business plan. It is quite likely that you will find you are not so developed in certain areas. Slow down and take the time to develop them.
But don’t stop trying. Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t hide behind draft after draft. Or behind one training session after another. After a while there needs to be a moment where we stand up and say; “I’m ready.” Don’t worry, you can always come back and update your skills. But the important thing is to not let perfectionism hold you back.
Why Is Perfectionism Holding Us Back?
Ultimately perfectionism is a form of procrastination in disguise. We might think we are doing something good; working on ourselves and improving, but we may actually be holding ourselves back.
We might be holding ourselves back from finally releasing that product. Or making the jump to our new business model or plan. And these mistakes can cost you years of success in the future. And unfortunately they can often serve to reinforce those issues of perfectionism as well.
We need to think about our Return On Investment. There is a point, after which, constant improvements and perfectionism no longer helps us. Rather it keeps us busy and holds our business back.
It’s important to understand and recognize when this is happening, so we can stop it and so we can move forward as businesswomen.
Dr Raja Yasmin is the founder of the EQBIZ Academy. She has both real life experience running businesses as well as 20 years of teaching experience. Now Dr Raja Yasmin is ready to help women become empowered through business. If you would like to receive a free marketing resource for your business, sign up here.