Stuck in Perfectionism?

When being perfect can actually work as a disadvantage.

BY LYN CHRISTIAN, founder of Soul Salt Inc., and Ultimate Coach University.

  • Are you unconsciously holding yourself back? Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions and find out:
  • Do you feel what you accomplish is never quite good enough?
  • Do you find that you are rarely satisfied with your completed projects and work?
  • Do you believe that if you do not do a perfect job that you are less of a person?
  • Do you fear failure because you will not be respected if you do fail?
  • Do you put things off because you’d rather not do them than fail trying?

If you answered yes to just one of these questions, you may be or have been stuck in what I call the Perfect Trap. Perfectionism is like a virus of the mind. It seduces us into an unnatural concept of what is possible.

Most of the human population suffers unknowingly with a certain degree of perfectionism. If we remain unwilling to do something about it, we might be sabotaging our capacity to excel.

Here are some quick ways to relieve the pressure of perfectionism.

  1. Come to a clear understanding that pushing to achieve perfection is like swimming with a rock. Eventually you’re going to drag down your performance and potentially drown a few dreams.
  2. When you decide to accomplish a goal or to complete a project, set realistic standards for yourself that lean heavily towards excellence rather than perfection.
  3. Experiment and learn to discriminate between good, great, excellent, and perfect. Learn to embrace good, great, and excellent. Learn to discard perfect.
  4. Celebrate and enjoy what you do accomplish. Take stock by asking yourself, “How much did I enjoy doing this?”

Lyn Christian has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training.

Lyn is the founder and owner of two coaching related companies: SoulSalt Inc. and Ultimate Coach University, and works closely with Image Studios on developing systems and coaching programs for its salon professionals.