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Escape Perfectionism: Don’t settle for a Photoshopped version of You.

Do you often feel like the picture-perfect life you envisioned is always just out of reach? Struggling with letting others help, and finding it hard to enjoy your success when it comes?




The truth is that we all live in an airbrushed culture, and the pressure to appear always flawless is real.  But here's the good news: there's a path to success that's even better than the unrealistic image we chase.


Last week, I held a very interesting talk about the risks of always seeking perfection in our personal and professional lives. Here are some actionable takeaways from that conversation.


Understanding Perfectionism


Perfectionism manifests in setting unrealistically high standards, being overly self-critical, and tying one's self-worth to achievements. I often talk about the danger of falling into the busyness trap, but we've all, at some point, found ourselves stuck in the perfectionism web.


The first step in breaking free from perfectionism is recognizing when we're caught in its trap. Look for these signs:


  • You are always setting excessively high standards for what you do

  • You fear failure, to the point you prefer not to do something than trying 

  • You fall into constant procrastination due to the fear of imperfection

  • You often tie your self-worth to your achievements. 


Perfectionism not only affects our mental health, leading to anxiety and depression, but also takes a toll on our physical and emotional/spiritual well-being. Also, in the search for perfection we slow down our rate of success, hindering progress and personal development.


Strategies to Break Free


1. Break Tasks into Small Pieces


Every huge difficult to master project or skill is made by smaller and easy to manage tasks. By focusing on the smallest possible actions, we eliminate excuses to not take action, giving us a sense of progress and accomplishment.


2. Change Your Definition of Success


Success should be measured in terms of growth, not just results. Embrace the concept of finding success in the journey rather than fixating on the destination. 

Think of Thomas Edison, who famously said "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."


3. Find a Way to Fail and Measure It


Embrace failure as a crucial part of the learning process and measure how many times you can learn from it. Can you set a failure record and still beat it? This will help you develop resilience and gain valuable insights that contribute to eventual success.

Michael Jordan won six NBA, and to get there he missed 9000 shots and lost almost 300 games.


4. Let Others Help You


Break free from the tendency to be a lone perfectionist. Collaborate with others, seek their perspectives, and allow them to contribute in their unique ways. The value of teamwork often brings forth strategies and ideas we might not have considered.


Breaking free from the perfectionism trap is a journey towards personal and professional growth. Implementing these strategies and reflecting on your daily actions will not only increase productivity but also infuse joy into your work and life.


Take care and embrace the journey,

Serena

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