4 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

I see you. You procrastinate publishing your website. It’s not “perfect” yet. You’ll start WHEN your product is “perfect”. I struggle with perfectionism too. Here’s how it cost me $10,000 USD and 4 ways to overcome perfectionism.

Perfectionism cripples us. According to a recent study, we’re not alone. Perfectionism causes us unhealthy stress. In my case, a $10,000 USD learning opportunity.

I wasn’t satisfied with my manufacturer’s prototype. It wasn’t “perfect”. For the sake of perfectionism, I made a few last minute changes thinking it would help “perfect” my product before a scheduled production run. Big $10,000 USD mistake! 

Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. It has its advantages. Perfectionism pushes us to innovate better products and services. We hold ourselves and others to higher standards.

But, NEVER being satisfied or brash, last-minute, decision making for the sake of “perfect” can be bad. It can inhibit us from moving forward. Or worse, accelerate us forward in the wrong direction. Where to draw the line? What are the ways to overcome our perfectionism to ensure we’re moving forward in the right direction?

4 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism 

  1. Create milestones and set hard deadlines. A milestone can be e.g., finish product sketch. Write “finish product sketch” on a specific date in your calendar. Know that if it’s on your calendar, it MUST get done. Think of it as a due date for paying taxes. The government doesn’t negotiate with you on their deadlines. Don’t negotiate with yourself on yours. 
  2. Create monthly deliverables and email them to someone. Set monthly deliverables e.g. first draft of product sketch by Sept 31st. Grab an accountability partner. Shoot them a gcal invite and have them hold you accountable to it. Email your deliverables e.g. a digital copy of your product sketch to them regardless if it’s perfect or not. 
  3. Embed “perfectionism time” in your calendar. It’s hard to overcome perfectionism cold turkey. Allow yourself to seek “perfect” but give yourself a time limit for it e.g. 3 days for review (a.k.a. go on a perfectionism frenzy). This ensures you’re satisfying your perfectionist side and still moving forward.
  4. Consciously remind yourself it will never be perfect. That’s the whole point of business! If perfectionism existed, there would be no need for innovation or entrepreneurship. But it doesn’t. It never will. Thank goodness! The world would be boring if it were perfect. So your constant innovative ideas and creations are needed, boss babe.

Besides, it’s not even your decision whether your product/service/website is perfect or not. Let the market decide! At worst, you’ll have great feedback for improvements. At best, you’ll have a booming business.

Don’t let perfectionism hold you back or steer you in the wrong direction. 

How do you overcome perfectionism to move forward in the right direction? Let our #bossbabe community know in the comments below!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hard deadlines and an accountability partner are crucial! Also, if there are opportunities for lesser scale moments to let perfectionism go it will serve as good baby steps for the larger perfectionist moments that, like you said, are hard to beat cold turkey.

  2. Geek here! I had such a giggle reading this article because Wolf will tell you this is all my problems – I am a perfectionist like no other and she is the polar opposite! I needed to read this – thank-you Kay, you are a goddess, lots of takeaways for me to refocus on today.

    You have impeccable timing!

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