Perfection is a Trap!!!
Have you ever felt trapped by the overwhelming desire to be kick arse awesome ALL of the time? Have you ever felt such a deep, gut wrenching fear of fucking it all up, that you played small and ended up being a somewhat lesser version of yourself?
I have. I got caught up in the Perfection Trap years ago. It crippled me. It was a part of my brilliance and the very same hunger was a part of my collapse. Bouncing around somewhere between the drive for being everything to everyone and the moments of being nothing to nobody. Completely restrained. Gaffa taped into the trap.
Many people in business find themselves in the same place. I coach numerous leaders that are drowning in the effects of Perfection overwhelm. Not only can it cripple an individual, it can cripple your business.
So how do you release yourself from the perfection trap? Well you need to create an emotion that is greater than what ‘getting it right’ is currently giving you… and that is happiness!!!!
According to the World Database of Happiness (yep, there is one), Iceland is the happiest place on earth. ‘Iceland’, I hear you cry? Yes, I know it’s cold and dark six months out of the year there. I’m just giving you the data.
So, what’s the secret to their happiness? Eric Weiner, Author of The Geography of Bliss, travelled to Iceland to find out. After interviewing a number of Icelanders, Weiner discovered that their culture doesn’t stigmatize failure. Icelanders aren’t afraid to fail — or to be imperfect — and so they’re more willing to pursue what they enjoy. That’s one reason Iceland has more artists per capita than any other nation. “There’s no one on the island telling them they’re not good enough, so they just go ahead and sing and paint and write,” Weiner writes.
What are the signs that you could be caught up in the Perfection Trap?
You have a hard time starting something…
You have an even harder time finishing it – you just keep on going until……
You are so eager to please others; it comes at a big price for you.
You either go BIG or you go home – decisions are very black and white.
You have a hard time opening up to others – the fear of rejection or not being good enough can send you into overwhelm.
You get defensive when challenged or criticised.
Sound like you?
Well here are 3 big, hairy ways that you can begin to release yourself from the trap.
- Dare to Begin – Don’t attempt one big leap to get it right, just get going. Starting is important. Starting small is more important. Get stuck into the small steps that will take you to delivering on your bigger outcome.
- Do what feels right to you – Start listening to yourself. Hear the internal nudges and stop to consider them. Everyone will have a view what is good, bad or someone in between. If you listen to all of them, you will enter into a state of paralysis. Of course, listen to others, hear their ideas and then practice using your own judgement to ensure that what you do is good enough.
- Choose to have Happy Accidents – Failure is such a strong word and has my gut writhing with discomfort. Happy Accidents come out of something that could originally be perceived as a disaster. Start looking for them. Keep your mind agile. The faster you move towards the lens of a Happy Accident, the faster you can move forward with your new learning.
Test these out. Give them a go and see what bounces back. You just need to do them, not perfectly though, just do them.