Overcoming Perfectionism

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I confess! I am a recovering perfectionist. You’d think that since “perfect” is the root of the word “perfection” that perfectionism would be a good thing.   But it’s not! Perfectionism leads to procrastination which causes you to put off beginning and/or completing a project. This blog was almost a casualty of perfectionism.

I’ve thought about creating this blog for a while now. As an executive coach to aspiring and established leaders, both men and women, I notice that clients encounter a number of similar challenges. This blog focuses primarily on issues women face because I want to contribute to helping women attain and excel in executive level leadership roles in organizations. To prepare I did what any perfectionist would do — I enrolled in a blogging workshop so I could start off doing it perfectly or so I thought. I attend all the classes. The mantra is content is king. Consistently creating blog posts will help you grow your following and build your audience. The perfectionist in me blocked my creativity.  I somehow managed to stay too busy with other activities to get blog posts written and the blog activated, until now.

My breakthrough came as a result of a conversation with my coach (yes coaches also have coaches). What changed? During a session with my own coach, I finally realized that the reason I have been unable to start blogging is that I want whatever I write to be perfect the first time. That is rarely the case when writing or with any new endeavor.  There is a growth phase. You hone your craft over time. I decided to change the story I tell myself. My views can’t be considered if no one knows what I’m thinking. So instead of sticking to my “I’m a perfectionist” story, I chose to pivot. Now I see myself as a budding thought leader in the area of leadership development and my For Women Leaders blog is my platform. I decided to just start sharing my thoughts and ideas about what it takes to grow and strengthen your leadership muscles in my blog posts and to answer questions posed by readers in the comments section.

Tips to Overcome Perfectionism

If you have perfectionist tendencies, like I do, here are a few tips to help you change your story.

  1. Re-evaluate your standards
  2. Challenge your perfectionist thoughts, go for “good enough”
  3. Ask for help
  4. Stop your negative self-talk
  5. Let go of the need to be liked by everybody
  6. Embrace the goal to be respected and trustworthy
  7. Stop comparing yourself to others, focus on your own journey
  8. Overcome the “disease to please”
  9. Focus on your strengths.  Use them, improve them, share your gift with the world.
  10. Become a perpetual work in progress

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