Before you take action, is it important for you to feel REALLY confident about exactly what you want to achieve, and to have a detailed plan to help you get there?
Do you spend countless hours analyzing options and asking yourself what are the risks associated with each option?
And yet despite all that time you spend in analysis, do you often find it hard to identify the BEST option for action? Which means you haven’t moved at all, despite all the hours of analysis?
These habits are all signs of perfectionism. They keep you stuck at a low level of success and income in your business. These habits mean you’re not being consistent in your marketing/recruiting, you’re not attracting more clients or team members, and you’re not making more money.
Here are 3 signs that you’re a perfectionist, along with the ways these stunt your business’s growth.
1. You want to find the optimal solution for every business decision. You spend countless hours looking for solutions and then analyzing your options. In fact you spend so much time searching and analyzing that you’re not taking any action! Which means you’re stuck at your current level of impact and income. Your business is stagnant; it’s not growing.
In contrast, successful entrepreneurs fail faster. They have an idea and quickly implement it. They see what works, tweak what didn’t work, and come out with iteration #2. Then they see what works, tweak what didn’t work, and come out with iteration #3. While the perfectionist is still back at the starting line asking themselves: “What is the best way for me to get from A to Z? What is the optimal solution to this problem?”
2. You are very risk-averse; you fear loss. You probably remember your mistakes – the pain or loss you suffered – much more vividly than you remember your successes. When you’re looking for the optimal answer, you’re asking yourself: “How do I avoid making a mistake? How do I avoid having any kind of loss?”
When you’re so focused on avoiding ANY loss, it causes you to pull back from all risks, even reasonable risks.
Thriving entrepreneurial businesses generally do take on some level of risk, from high (think start-ups like Apple or Facebook) to low (buying into a MacDonald’s franchise).
3. You spend a lot of time second-guessing yourself. When you believe that there is ONE optimal solution; one perfect answer in a universe of a million choices, that means there are 999,999 ways to fail.
In real life, there’s seldom one optimal choice. Instead, there are many good choices.
When you make a choice and you’re aiming for the one and only optimal choice , you spend a lot of time second-guessing your decision. You ask yourself “Was that the best solution? Sure, it looks good now, but what if there’s some better choice? What if, what if what if?!”
All this second-guessing leads to a lot of stress. You never feel confident about your decisions.
It’s also very time-consuming. Instead of considering options, making a decision and moving on, you’re going back to the starting point and repeating your entire thought process, over and over again. Yet that doesn’t change anything you’re doing.
The good news is that you CAN break free from these habits.
I call myself a “recovering perfectionist”. I was a serious perfectionist for most of my life. Before I could change, I first had to realize the physical stress I was creating in myself. Like when I decided the Girl Scout troop I was leading really needed to have a specific item from the Girl Scout store in DC. Unfortunately, it was rush hour in DC and I only had 1 hour to get there, so the clock was ticking. I burned up a lot of adrenaline on that journey. And then there was the emotional toll that my perfectionism took on my relationships. Over the years I had many, many arguments with my sister about her lack of punctuality. That absolutely affected our closeness.
Once I realized the physical and emotional effects of perfectionism, I did lots of reading to learn more and then implemented simple strategies that made a huge difference. Now I can usually detect when perfectionism creeps into my thinking, which lets me make a different and better choice than buying into my perfectionist thoughts!
If you find that you are spending way too much looking for the “perfect” answer and you’re not moving into action, then you already know the paralyzing effect of perfectionism on your business. If you’re ready to explore a new way of being, that helps you feel better AND be more effective than ever before, then I invite you to email me. We’ll easily schedule a private call, where we’ll discuss your business goals, how perfectionism is showing up in your business and life, and how coaching and expert mentoring can help you develop a different way of thinking and acting.
If you’re a perfectionist, I’m confident that your business has so much growth potential that is immediately available to you, as soon as you change your thoughts. It’s that simple and that hard, all at once.
If you’d like support on your journey into a freer, more dynamic life and business, please contact me. You have only this one precious life; let’s make it great!