Ooh. I can already hear it coming. You’re ready to defend your Inner Critic aren’t you? You believe it is what makes you good at what you do. It’s what sets you apart, isn’t it?
And you’re right. To a degree.
At first glance, perfectionism is a beautiful thing. It drives you to achieve. It requires you to set high standards and rise to meet them.
Let’s say you give a presentation at work and it doesn’t go as well as you would have liked. Your response might look something like this:
Oh, you feel awful about how you did during your presentation? Great. Beat yourself up. Analyze your mistakes for days. Feel rotten. Then shore up your weaknesses. And never, ever, ever do that again.
And guess what? You won’t. Because your perfectionism will protect you. That which makes you crazy – also makes you better. Two sides of the same coin.
Your perfectionism will cause you to beat yourself up…but it will also make you analyze your faults (probably for days or weeks) and learn from them. You’ll fall down and then improve. You’ll fail and then get better.
I get it. I’ll be the first to admit there is an upside to trying to be perfect. Even when we fall short, we’re probably better off than we would have been if we’d set our sights lower.
So, if there’s an obvious benefit, how can I possibly make the case that perfectionism is bad?
It’s simple. Perfection is part blessing, part burden. That nagging voice that keeps telling you, “You can do better,” is right. You can do better.
You’re an achiever — but your perfectionism is slowing you down. You’re here to get stuff done and that pesky voice in your head keeps telling you to, “slow down, get it right, try it one more time, make everyone else happy, fix that one tiny thing,” and it’s keeping you from moving forward.
What if I told you that you could retain all the blessings of perfectionism (the high quality of your work, your commitment to excellence, and your desire to achieve) but minimize all of the burdens (the self-doubt, frustration, criticism, and pain?) Would you be interested? Are you committed to showing up in the best possible way – with courage, conviction, and confidence – both at home and at work?
If so, you have to decide – right now – to stop allowing your potential to be limited by the voice of your Inner Critic. By an imaginary ideal that YOU are in control of.
Declare war. On your fears and your limitations.
Your potential in this world is ultimately limited (or unlimited) by one person.
Welcome to the battlefield.
Want to learn more about how to make the most of your perfectionism? Be sure to sign up below and I’ll send you a free digital copy of my new book, Waging War With Perfect: Battle Your Inner Critic and Win, when we launch at the end of February.
This is the fifth post in the Waging War on Perfect Series. In case you missed other posts in the series, you can check them out below:
Thanks and have a fantastic day!