Thursday, November 3, 2016

Perfectionism Can Stunt Business Growth: 5 Ways To 'Let It Go' And Grow

Have you noticed how some people seem to be proud to say that they are a perfectionist? Sometimes holding this up as a badge of honor, a flag to wave when trying to impress?

In actual fact, perfectionism is not something to be proud of because, if it gets out of hand, it can be a sign of mental illness, in extreme circumstances it’s a symptom of OCD.

To operate within the bounds of healthy perfectionism, normally you will have high standards but you will be happy to lower those standards if circumstances dictate, such as delegating to someone who does things differently to you. This is part of the profile of a high achiever and allows you to breathe with less angst, as long as the people you have delegated to are doing a good job in their own way.

If, however, you are never satisfied with the work others do or indeed your own, holding onto that piece of work or email until it’s “perfect,” you are stepping over the line into being a neurotic perfectionist.  Test yourself:

• Do you procrastinate and put off doing things because you are worried it won’t be perfect, only to find that you are tight up against a deadline and end up having to rush the job?

• Do you spend too much time thinking about what went wrong instead of what went right?

• Are you intolerant when people make mistakes or beat yourself up when you make mistakes?

These can be alarm warnings and a sign that perhaps you are not in as much control as you might wish.  If you recognise yourself here, these behaviors can even lead on to mental health problems such as depression, phobias, anxiety and even physical problems such as heart disease.

What is wrong with making mistakes anyway? That’s one of the ways we develop and grow and build a better business.

The reality is that no one will ever replicate exactly the way you do things; this would be ghastly in itself.  After all, their way may be better or at least different enough to make things interesting and progressive.

To do things well is always a goal. To develop and grow business is of course, a definite goal. To stay healthy both mentally and physically is an essential goal. So, taking some inspiration from the Disney film Frozen, here are five ways to “let it go”:

1. Don’t rush at hiring people. Wait for the right candidate for the role.  But don’t be put off if you think they may do things differently to you, but see this as a bonus as long as you don’t clash.

2. Realize that your way isn’t the only way. We all have flaws, accept it.

3. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth, embrace it.

4. Set realistic goals so that you and your people feel good about achieving them. If you have hired well, know that you are all good enough.

5. Focus on what went right and not what went wrong. Let it go.
It’s tough when you want to always do the best you possibly can, but don’t let it rule you. The important thing is to stay well and recognize that perfection is an illusion. Let it go.

Image Credit: Shuttershock

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