Do you like everything “perfect”? Perfectionism isn’t perfect. And it’s one of the biggest business killers. How do you allow yourself to do your best job without getting caught in this dangerous loop? Chris explains…
I can remember telling my sons, and later on, individuals who reported directly to me that I found perfection to be boring and frustrating. I urged them to pursue excellence, or, in other words, to do the very best they could with whatever they had at the time. You know, “play the hand you’re dealt” in the best way possible.
Individuals who pursue perfection – and many of us have met them (and some of you may be one of them) – are never satisfied. They are always looking for one more piece of information or data to help them make a decision or take action. Oddly, they never make that decision and end up frustrated and, in many cases, demoralized. They are, in fact, very unhappy people. I sometimes describe those seeking perfection as individuals who are “studying all of the sides of a circle.”
Unlike individuals who set stretch goals and who are resilient in order to effectively deal with setbacks, perfectionists aim high goals (and in some cases unrealistically) in order to demonstrate their value to others. Then, when they fall short they become brutally critical of themselves. This, in turn, leads them feeling that whatever they do is never enough. Perfectionism, left unchecked, can lead to serious mental health issues. I read recently that research suggests that being too hard on yourself can actually limit one’s ability to achieve success. Being perfect makes it harder to think clearly because of the stress that it causes.
Here are 5 simple actions you can take to offset any desires you might have to be perfect:
- Focus on the best outcome you can deliver versus harshly judging yourself.
- Focus on taking action to keep moving forward and learning as you go.
- See mistakes as normal and as learning opportunities, and not as a “failing grade” on the imaginary report card in your mind.
- Set realistic and achievable goals and celebrate small victories. Learn to give yourself a “high-5” at every opportunity that you can.
- When being threatened by overwhelm and frustration, stop where you are and identify one positive action you can take – big or small (small is preferred) – that will change the momentum in your favor.
Give it your best effort. It’s really OK not to be perfect.
The Labor Day holiday was created to honor those who have made economic and social strides – achieved success – through hard work in the United States.
Everyone wants to be successful in whatever they do. I don’t know of anyone who starts their day by saying, “How can I fail today?” Unfortunately, far too many start the day without asking, “How can I be successful today?” Rather they get up, go through the motions and in many cases, let the day’s events take control of them. And they do it all over again the very next day – they avoid success! Talk about being in a rut! Does the term victim mean anything to you?
Success only comes when you have a vision, take a risk and reflect it all in an action plan. Success at anything doesn’t happen because you think you can “will it” to happen. The path to success starts with a first step, then another and another, until you achieve your desired goals.
I have always been amazed at the reluctance of people to commit to doing the work that will lead them to be the best they can be in their chosen profession. Why would you hold back on giving it your all?
Nothing can stop you if you have a strong belief in yourself, your abilities and the will to get things done – you know, like the hard work celebrated on this holiday. Never stop making those qualities stronger because nothing can help if you let your self-belief slip.
Learn from Chris how to muster the courage and confidence from within you to achieve your goals. Chris uses a fishing trip to Costa Rica with his grandson to make his points. So, the question to you is, “What are you doing to find and use the courage within you (that’s right, it’s already there), to tackle one of your challenges?” All of us can always use a boost in our self-esteem and self-confidence. It doesn’t happen automatically. It only happens when you put yourself out there. We all have goals that are out there, waiting for you to have the courage to take the right actions to get started. It’s time to stop holding yourself back. It’s time for you to start your excellent adventure. Isn’t it?
My daily routine involves reading the Wall Street Journal while having my first cup of coffee. During my “read”, I always find my way to the daily “Pepper…And Salt” illustration (yup, it’s a cartoon). This past week addressed the concept of focus in a very powerful yet simple way.
While wearing “The Cone” may not be a fashionable approach, the message – being focused – is important for each of us. What do you do each day to establish and maintain your focus on getting the right things done?
For starters, stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus – discipline yourself – to start each day working on those tasks that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on only a few “key” tasks at one time.
Here are the 4 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done: Continue reading
Everyone wants to be a success. Yet very few realize the full measure of what it means to be a success. They end up settling for something less than what they originally set out to achieve. While success is personal to each of us, from my own observations there are common qualities and habits that the most successful people possess.
Look at this list of “10” ways successful people act and see how you measure up: Continue reading
Right now, as you read this you are capable of significantly improving your performance if you have the courage to take that very first step to get started. And after that first step, the courage to take another and another until you have achieved your goal.
Your current habits define you. Do you have the courage to change those habits to help you re-define yourself to be the person you need to be to succeed?
Change is hard, and nobody really likes it because it makes you feel uncomfortable. To achieve your goals, you need to have the courage and stamina to push through that feeling of being uncomfortable so that you are comfortable with it and be the master of that change. Continue reading
At times, I’ve used a simple exercise with clients to help them understand that they need to get out of their own way.
I ask them to look at a mirror and tell me what they see. The initial usual responses are “me;” the next James Bond; some famous personality; etc. The list could fill this page.
I then explain that they are looking at the main culprit, problem or obstacle standing in the way of their success.
After 5 or so minutes, I ask them to look in the mirror and again tell me what they see. There are no more cute responses or so-called witty responses. They are now skeptical and have that deer in the headlights look, wondering if I’ve asked a trick question. Continue reading
We all want to feel confident in ourselves. Self-confidence is one the keys to our ability to accomplish more and grow personally and professionally. Many talk about wanting to increase self-confidence but few are prepared to willingly do what is required to actually become more self-confident. Chris explains how personal willingness involves taking ACTION. In other words, to be more confident means you’re willing to act to first satisfy yourself (and no one else) that you did your very best.
- You approach your role with an organized and focused “get it done now” sense of urgency.
- You focus on results, not just “to do’s”.
- You know how to evaluate risks that need to be taken and act only on the correct ones.
- You practice positive self-talk that encourages you to believe in your abilities and properly challenge yourself.
- You talk with others in a respectful but confident manner.
- You are organized and in control; you can’t even spell “overwhelm” let alone talk about it.
- You have no interest in blaming others or being overly critical of yourself (no self-guilt); you know that these activities (blame and guilt) wastes time and creates unnecessary emotional distractions.
- You ignore negative feedback based solely upon negative opinions lacking any constructive alternatives.
- You don’t worry about things you cannot control; you focus on what you can influence or direct.
- You work on executing the fundamentals as best as you can, keeping everything as simple as possible.