The problem with perfectionism behaviour is that it comes from a place of fear of failing or fear of being judged by ourselves or by others. The trait that follows perfectionism is procrastination.
Perfectionists are renowned for overthinking, they obsess over making things perfect. All the research they need to do, all the angles that they need to cover.. They get super overwhelmed and then get distracted by other tasks or non-productive / non-related activities.
This procrastination-type behaviour causes inactivity or often waiting until just hours before a deadline to get going and take action.
SELF JUDGEMENT & SELF CRITICAL
Then once the task is complete (often in a rush meaning sub-standard output) , the perfectionist then examines the work through a negative lens, they go over and over and over and scrutinise the output, beating themselves up with negative self-talk (check this video out here on how to beat that) over how crap it ended up and what more they could have done..
IT BECOMES A CYCLE OF SLOWER GROWTH.
This pattern often becomes a vicious cycle… They desperately want to get things perfect the next time, but the same behaviour ensues where the perfectionist scrutinises, over thinks and essentially self-sabotages.
How can you break this pattern of behaviour?
You want to do a good job right? So how about striving for excellence without being held back by the shackles of fear. Be proactive and take action!
- Set a deadline and stick to it!
- Put a self-imposed deadline or use the one given if it a work project for example.
- Block out the time to work on the task
So say you have a week to complete the task
Open up your calendar or in your diary and check the available time or make some room.
Slot the time in and be specific about what you’re doing in that time. So it may require research.. Allocate 2 hours, you might need to call a few people for their input that’s 1 hour, you might need to write it up, allow 4 hours and so on. Then commit to this.
Complete it and feel comfortable with your output.
Then, of course, you, the perfectionist will think about how it went, BUUUT and here’s the difference you do it through a positive lens. You ask – what did I do well? What could I have done better? You see this as a step towards growth. What can I improve to make it even better next time? This creates productivity as you’re no longer scared of judgement, but rather you see it is an opportunity to affect personal growth.
So you take action: Learn – Assess – Repeat. Learn – Assess – Repeat
With this approach, you are displaying a growth mindset which will set you up for the long term with HUGE advancements and ultimately success in anything you put your mind to!
Learn to enjoy the process and the opportunity to grow to reach your long term goals vs living in fear at each moment.