Being an entrepreneur, despite having the financial freedom, the liberty to manage your business decisions, and doing what you’re enthusiastic about, one obstacle that hinders an entrepreneur from enjoying these “perks” is perfectionism.
However, as you’ll see, perfectionism can be the stumbling block to an entrepreneurs’ desired performance. Most perfectionists don’t even realize they’re one. They take hold of the assumption that their obsessive pursuit of perfection is basically just the definition of doing an honest job.
Everyone should aim for perfection, but it is pretty arbitrary. What is ideal for you is almost certainly not ideal for anyone else. It’s a frustrating and, quite honestly — an unreachable goal.
Signs that you have perfectionistic tendencies.
- You have an “All-or-Nothing” Thinking
- You are Highly Critical
- You have an unreasonable fear of failure
- You have an unrealistic set of standards
- You procrastinate.
These are just some signs that you are a perfectionist, and these hinder you from being a successful entrepreneur. And like what Mihai Herman said, “Perfectionism is like fear — hear it, accept its opinion but don’t let it stop you from realizing your dreams!” Just like any fear, there are ways you can defeat perfectionism as an entrepreneur:
1. Taking a good look at the big picture
It is possible to get lost in the smallest details as you strive for excellence in completing every mission, project, and milestone for your company.
The perfectionist in you pushes you to concentrate on the details, which causes you to lose sight of the larger picture. It is the fear of failing that makes you nit-pick the small details and forget all about your true goal. Although paying attention to detail is an important part of becoming an entrepreneur, it is also critical not to lose sight of the big picture as it lets you see your progress.
It allows you to keep track of how the details are progressing and how the puzzle is coming together. It allows you to take a deep breath to assess how much work you have completed and what is also missing.
2. It’s better to get things done than to get them perfect.
It was said that procrastination stems from being a perfectionist. Thinking that it’s easier not to carry out a task than to do it poorly.
If this is you, you may have just had a major self-discovery. And if you want to be a changed, perfectionist and procrastinator, you might be wondering how you’ll break free from this cycle.
To get out of this, all you have to do is do what you have to do. It is easier to work on improving something rather than wasting time imagining how you might do something perfectly.
Set deadlines and adhere to them. In that way, you can get something done and improve on it when you had a chance to actually complete something.
3. Take advantage of challenges.
Challenges are part of success. And your perfectionism gets in the way of taking advantage of these barriers. By taking something not working as it should be, as a failure and immediately abandoning said challenge is a mistake.
You should learn to accept flaws as part of the process of entrepreneurship — or anything. Take the time to regroup and see why something is not working. Note it down and look at it from another perspective.
Remember, nothing is perfect.
4. Collaboration against perfectionism
As a perfectionist, you think that delegating tasks to others will only lead to failure.
That you would rather sacrifice your health, time and overall well-being doing everything yourself than trust that other people can help you. And others may mess up your perfect plans and that they can’t execute everything the way you wanted it to.
Or maybe you think that if they can’t do it your way, then it is never going to work. This may be the time for you to try to learn the power of collaboration.
It may surprise you that trusting people and delegating some tasks leaves you with more time to focus on what’s important to you as an entrepreneur.
5. Take care of your well-being
As an entrepreneur who struggles with perfectionism, taking necessary breaks is the last thing on your mind. You take everything to heart and it messes up your capacity to take a deep breath, relax and have time for yourself.
Being as highly critical as you are with others, you are harder on yourself. And it can lead to stress, mental and physical fatigue, and it can lead to you burning out. You have to remember that for you to enjoy your fruits of labour, you have to take care of yourself first. Give yourself time to relax, eat well, exercise and sleep well so you can be more efficient and productive.
6. Do something you’re bad at
Every perfectionist’s nightmare is failing. And doing something you are bad at may not be the best advice you can possibly follow.
However, doing something you aren’t great at but can laugh at afterwards, is a healthy way to break free from your perfectionist tendencies. It will help you in relaxing and accepting that not everyone has to be flawless. That being incomplete is perfectly good because it allows for learning and development.
7. Stop Comparing Yourself
It is only natural to research about your competitors, however, comparing yourself negatively to others is a pitfall your perfectionism allows you.
This is harmful to you as an entrepreneur. If you must compare yourself, do so against the “you” before. Make comparing yourself negatively to people into a positive exercise. Compare what you have accomplished now to what you have done before. It can help you see that all you’ve been doing is a step closer to your goal.
Breaking free from perfectionism is not an overnight battle. You must constantly challenge yourself to strive for excellence rather than perfection. Excellence is attainable while perfection is an illusion.