Many of the most successful people in the world are perfectionists. Serena Williams, Martha Stewart, and the late Steve Jobs are just some of the people known for both their success and their perfectionist mindset.
The dark side of a perfectionist mindset
However, too much of a good thing can be bad. It’s for this very reason why people with an overly perfectionist mindset struggle in reaching their full potential. In some cases, it causes severe depression and suicide.
Such was the case when acclaimed 3-star Michelin chef Benoît Violier shot himself after rumors began to circulate that his restaurant was going to lose one Michelin star.
Some of the tell-tale signs that you may be an extreme perfectionist are as follows:
- You expect everyone to do things perfectly.
- You want others to do things exactly the way you would.
- You miss deadlines because you can’t stop editing your work.
- You shrug off compliments.
- You lash out when you’re given a less than stellar feedback.
- You find yourself procrastinating a lot.
- Negative self-talk has become your habit.
Does any of these sound like you? If so, congratulations! You’ve just taken the first—and most important—step to overcoming an overly perfectionist mindset. Without this, you won’t break away.
Here are 5 tips on how to stop being an extreme perfectionist.
1) See mistakes as a learning experience
Instead of equating mistakes with failure, accept it as part of the road to success.
Understand and accept that you’ll never get it right the first time, and that’s perfectly okay. Review what you did so that you can see where the error occurred. Make the adjustments and try again and again until you get it right.
2) Practice positive self-talk
Rather than putting yourself down by telling yourself all the things that you didn’t do well, strive to find at the things you have done right. Make an effort to keep repeating these to yourself. Slowly, you will start feeling good about yourself.
3) Imagine yourself on your deathbed
Life is precious. It’s also limited, which makes time valuable. Sadly, many people realize this when they reach their twilight years.
Ask yourself: “If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend today?”
You may be surprised on how your perspective suddenly changes. Indeed, people who realize that they only have a few more months or weeks to live spend are more forgiving and patient towards others. They also don’t waste time procrastinating for the simple reason they no longer have the luxury of time to do so.
4) Be willing to delegate to others
Each of the people you work with has their unique skills and talents. Sure, they might not do things the way you would. However, if you let them do it their way, they may come up with a way of doing the task more efficiently and get better results. At the end of the day, this is what matters most to your boss.
5) Be kind to yourself
You are, first and foremost, a human being. Humans may strive to be perfect, but the truth is that it’s your imperfections that make you human and unique. It’s always better to say “at least I tried” rather than “I wish I did.”
If you are unsure whether you struggle with an overly perfectionist mindset, we can help you out. Schedule a free Discovery session with Coach Margaret today to find out whether you are an extreme perfectionist and, more importantly, how to break out from it.
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