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How to Manage Perfectionism

Dedication vs. obsession

Being dedicated and thorough is not the same as being obsessive and ruminating.

Entrepreneurs have a deep desire to offer their product or service to the world just as they imagine it. This type of vision and dedication likely contributed to them choosing this path. That’s a gift. But don’t conflate the bad with the good. 

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How to Manage Perfectionism

How to Manage Perfectionism

https://www.success.com/how-to-manage-perfectionism/

success.com

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Key Ideas

Perfectionism

It can either propel you into serious action or paralyze your ability to accomplish even the most basic tasks.

Often, those who struggle with perfectionism have issues giving up control. In them lies a deeply rooted fear of failure.

Accept the outcome

If you’re struggling with the thought of submitting a task that you feel is less than perfect, create a list of the worst-case scenarios.

Ask yourself what's the worst that can happen. You'll most likely find out that the only negative aspect is the continuous rumination that'll keep you from finishing other important work.

Shifting your perspective

The positive side of perfectionism is the idea that you possess the motivation and a level of detailed attention that is unmatched by many.

The trouble happens, though, when you get so caught up in the details that you fail to see the bigger picture.

Dedication vs. obsession

Being dedicated and thorough is not the same as being obsessive and ruminating.

Entrepreneurs have a deep desire to offer their product or service to the world just as they imagine it. This type of vision and dedication likely contributed to them choosing this path. That’s a gift. But don’t conflate the bad with the good. 

Get things done

Getting something done is often more valuable than getting something just right. There is no point in being a perfectionist if your perfect work never sees the light of day.

Think about the other tasks that need your attention but have been ignored because of your obsession with a task that should have been done days ago.

Give up control

One strategy to "cure" perfectionism is to purposefully delegate tasks that once paralyzed you. If you manage a team, this transition should happen smoothly.

Think about this: you hired them because they already possess the knowledge and skills necessary to help your business succeed. Let them do their jobs, but also understand that mistakes are going to be made.

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress
Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

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Get an outside perspective on your perfectionist tendencies

Talk honestly and openly to someone about your tendencies and how you’re working on getting better.

Ask them to tell you when you are being too fussy about something so you can think about it.

Interrupting the cycle of rumination
  • Take note of when you’re ruminating and what triggers it until you can see your patterns and find ways to counteract them.
  • Don't trust your first reaction when ruminating. Most of the time, it colors negatively your read of the situation.
  • Seek a diversion to break the rumination cycle.
  • Think positively: remembering your successes and times you tried new things helps you to not be avoidant of tasks you can’t do perfectly.

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Perfectionist Behavior
Perfectionist Behavior

Perfectionist behavior is a broad personality trait prevalent in today's generation. It is defined as a hypercritical relationship with one's self.

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Perfectly Curated Life

Perfectionism is a growing cultural phenomenon that has engulfed a large set of people including celebrities. Some of the causes are:

  • Modern parenting
  • Competitive economy
  • Consumerism and advertising
  • Social Media.
Perfectionism x1000

Social Media acts as the biggest culprit in amplifying perfectionism as youngsters can constantly compare their looks and their lives to others in easily measurable ways.

There is an increased expectation from our family and our peers to be perfect in all aspects of our lives.

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Perfectionism and to-do lists

To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.

But there's also a risk: to-do lists can backfire i...

Break down projects

 ... into manageable tasks. 

This way, you're armed with a set of concrete actions to take rather a vague cloud of high expectations.

Define the next action

... rather than all subsequent steps.

Focusing only on the next action gives you permission to work on something even if you don’t have it all figured out—which is crucial to completing tasks that in the past have left you paralyzed.

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