When I left my corporate job I mentally committed to tackling things myself, rather than outsourcing, in an attempt to gain new skills. Perhaps this was a way to make myself feel like I had more to offer the world than my incredibly linear resume. These “skills” I have been attempting to acquire have run the gamut from spray insulating the ceiling in my garage, to learning the adobe creative cloud suite of software applications, to baking sourdough bread, to coding, to wallpapering, to building an online presence and brand. Clearly many of these skills require years if not a lifetime of practice to hone, as I’ve learned, especially the bread baking. I knew going in, that my expectations of myself would have to waver from perfect. (Case & point)
You see I am a chronically dedicated perfectionist. All i’s have to be dotted and every t crossed before I will roll something out to the eyes of beholders. In the corporate world this trait, or obsession, was often times appreciated. My contracts were always meticulously reviewed and modified before a customer would lay eyes on them. My teams’ performance reviews were thorough and detailed. Meetings and conference calls were carefully planned, prepped for, and executed. Even my appearance was thought through & curated in alignment with my audience. Anything less than perfect was not acceptable, to me.
This mission of gaining new skills has awakened me to the fact that perfectionism will result in nothing ever getting done. As a newly defined entrepreneur, prioritizing “doing” over the quality of the “do” has become essential to my productivity. Which means, you guessed it, perfectionism is out the window.
As it turns out this departure from perfectionism is a much healthier way of life. According to Psychology Today, perfectionism can be accompanied by depression and eating disorders. Based on a meta analysis of 95 studies, an article in Harvard Business Review, discussed the fact that while perfectionists may have heightened levels of motivation and conscientiousness, the side effects include burnout, anxiety, stress, workaholism. They went on to evaluate the performance of perfectionists and found that performance was not better in the perfectionist group vs. non-perfectionists.
So in other words I spent most of my waking hours at risk for significant mal-effects on my health and wellbeing, with no positive impact on my performance. Well that is the definition of idiotic!
Fast-forward to today. I have been working on our website on and off for months. Of course, initially, the domain would not go live nor reach any human in the world until it was perfect. This being the first site I have built, with no web design training, a perfect site is factually impossible. My mission to help women exploit their inner badass outweighs my desire to produce the perfect website. So, I have flipped my middle finger to the old me, and am proud to say that the prettysmart+badass, perfectly imperfect, website is live & launched. Check it out & enjoy!
Are you a perfectionist? How have you challenged yourself to change those programed behaviors? Meet me in the forum & lets chat!