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Did You Know that Perfectionism and Procrastination are Second Cousins?

 

If you have perfectionist tendencies, I want you to think about how much time in the past you have spent perfecting something you are working on.  Drafting, refining and then maybe discarding and starting over.

Zoom out for a moment and notice how many times you do this in your life.  At work, in your business and in your home life. 

Now it’s the new year, and you are setting goals in your business to create and promote a new program or product, and when it comes time to start, you notice some resistance.  You put off working on the new program because it feels overwhelming and daunting, even though you know it will help you achieve your goals.

Let’s pause there for a moment and reflect on why.  Maybe your smart, intelligent brain is sensing some pain ahead.  It knows from experience that you won’t be happy with B- work; it has to be A+ standard (and you usually keep raising the bar on what A+ looks like…)

So, it's understandable that some procrastination creeps in.  The upside of procrastinating is you won’t have to contend with disappointing yourself or being judged by others.  The downside, obviously, is you don’t do anything and limit yourself.

Some of my clients believe they work better under pressure and stress, so they leave things to the last minute and then seem to miraculously get them finished just in time.  But really, what happens is they accept the due date taking precedence over their perfectionism, so they finish the work and have an excuse for why it may not be perfect - they did it all last minute so they can avoid judgement.

The irony, of course, is that the judgement comes from within.  We are the ones primarily doing the judging that we are so desperate to avoid.

Perfectionism and procrastination have the same effect.  They slow us down.  They use up valuable resources like our time and energy, which ultimately means potential opportunities.  They are relations that we want to avoid and keep at a distance.

How does perfectionism show up in your life?  Notice whether there is any correlation between something you have been delaying working on in your business and your desire for perfection.  Now, what are you going to do with this awareness?

 

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