You have composed your first song; you have written your first blog post; recorded your first Youtube video, gathered content to launch your website; tidied up your CV; written your masters’ application essay, put together content for your first webinar/masterclass/event or come up with a brilliant business idea with a stunning business plan and proposal even you are proud of.
You are eager to get the process going.
You are stuck.
You are paralysed.
You cannot seem to take any step further because you are plagued by the need to ensure that everything you have done is perfect.
You probably suffer from perfectioniosis and have no one to tell you. Your need for perfection may be your blessing and curse in that your refusal to accept nothing less than your idea of “perfect” helps you produce top quality work, but may paralyse you when all you need to do is just get started.
If you do find yourself stalling intentionally on getting things done, here are 6 tips to help you overcome perfectionism and just get started:
1. Develop a Growth Mindset
“A growth minded person believes that they can learn anything as long as they are willing to put in enough effort into it. If they fail, they would get back up and try again, this time with new knowledge about what not to do. They realize that their potential is only limited by their willingness to work hard and keep trying new approaches until something works.”
A growth minded person takes on challenges, learns from them and increases their abilities and achievements. He or she does not see failure in its raw form and does not get discouraged or devastated by mistakes, but sees each failure as a learning opportunity or as an opportunity to be better and to do better. He/she sees failure not as an evidence of unintelligence, but as an opportunity for growth. He/she is constantly willing to improve, is positive about the future and hopeful that his/her goals would be achieved.
When you develop a growth mindset, you are gradually able to overcome perfectionism as you learn to accept that failures are a part of the process. Your first try is not expected to be superb neither is it expected to be perfect.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”Carol Dweck
2. Remember, “Done over Perfect”
This is so important to remember in whatever task or project you may be working on. You may be waiting for the perfect time or the perfect person, or perfect equipment, or perfect result, or perfect scenario. Just stop waiting and get started!
The perfect time is now. Every second you waste trying to “get things together” or “put the finishing touches” is another second that you lose fussing over things that may not matter. Be okay with learning as you go along. No one is ever perfect the first time around. Mastery takes time, practice and consistency. You may be worried about what other people think of the quality of your work, but put in your best and put it out there. How would you know if you do not try?
Also, be okay with welcoming constructive criticisms and feedbacks. Do not take them personal.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Comparisons
Do not in anyway compare yourself to the next person.
Sometimes these unhealty comparisons creep up subconsciously and we waste valuable time dwelling on them and feeling less than competent to handle certain tasks because we are too busy concentrating on the next person’s strengths and not ours.
A growth minded individual realizes that each person has his/her gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses and has an equal chance at developing same as each individual is unique in his/her own way. Focus on your strengths and develop your weaknesses into strengths. Also, feed your potential.
Time spent watching another person’s progress and comparing to yours, reduces the time you have to focus on your journey and goals.
Remember, comparison is the thief of joy.
4. Fall in Love With the Process
Enjoy the learning process of it all.
Life is in various stages and phases with each one presenting a plethora of lessons you can learn from. You could find that you are so obsessed with end results and expectations within a certain time frame that you get impatient and begin to freak out when the process goes beyond that expected time frame.
Embrace each phase and each lesson that can be learned from life, all the while expecting the best to come and working hard to achieve it. Do not worry about how you are going to be perfect or how it will work out. Just put your head down and do the work. Success will come.
The prize is in the process.
5. Believe In YOU
Seems pretty basic right?
The reality is if you are letting time pass you by and not getting started on your goals, then you do not believe in yourself so much. You have chosen to focus on your weaknesses and not your strengths. You have chosen to listen to the negative “what if’s” over the positive “what ifs”. You have decided that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty/handsome enough or not qualified enough to get things done
The most important question to ask yourself when you get consumed with these self-limiting beliefs and doubtful thoughts is “How true are these thoughts?” Alot of time, we drown ourselves in thoughts that are not true; thoughts and fears that prevent us from getting what we truly want. Your fears are really just that and they almost never come true anyway.
So what are you waiting for? It does not have to be perfect the first time and there is always room for growth and self-improvement.
Stop doubting your greatness.
You can do it.
Just get started!
Watch this book review I did on Jen Sincero’s book You Are A Bad Ass which has given me the inspirational and motivational push I needed to keep going after my goals. (Also, please subscribe to my Youtube Channel)