What I’ve Learned About Perfectionism

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under business, personal development

You know what’s crazy? As motivated as I am, and as good as I’ve gotten at working through fear – I’m not so great at recognizing my own perfectionism.

One of my goals this year is to improve the quality and frequency that I post Youtube videos. I watched numerous videos on how to make them better, I researched different techniques and read blog posts. I even created my own mini studio in my apartment and had alot of fun constructing my own green screen.

Can you guess what happened next?

I spent sooo much time trying to make things perfect that I started neglecting everything else – this blog, my marketing efforts, reaching out on social media and networking. I was laser focused on getting the videos ‘right’ – that I let everything else fall by the wayside. In the grand scheme of life, video doesn’t matter that much. But I just couldn’t let it go. I was married to the vision in my head of how I wanted things to be and I had to literally make myself stop working on the video aspect.

Important Lesson For Me

Now that we’re living in this digital age, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in the wrong things. One of the biggest realizations I made last year was that alot of entrepreneurs are busy working on the wrong things; if it’s not a money-making activity then it needs to be outsourced or not focused on. I don’t mean that entrepreneurs need to be super focused on making money – but that does need to be the focus. If we were here to help people and weren’t concerned about being paid for our services, we’d just be volunteers. And if we weren’t here to earn enough to take care of ourselves, our businesses would just be hobbies.

Allowing myself to work on something until it matches the image in my head is dangerous. I have the cushion of a full time job now, but I won’t always have that. I can’t afford to spend so much time wrapped up in something that I neglect the other things I should be doing. The easiest way for me to get around that is to continually check in with myself and keep the objective of the task in mind. Of course I want everything I do to be performed to the best of my ability – but I also want to help people and produce great content. So if a task takes longer than I’ve anticipated, I need to ask myself what the holdup is and how can I bring the task to completion quickly.

I also need to practice my ability to release what I’m doing and be okay with things not being ‘perfect’. Because honestly, that’s something that will never exist.

Here’s the latest video I created. In the end, I didn’t get the software and green screen configuration working properly, so I had to reshoot the video. I could’ve posted it weeks ago had I let go of my perfectionism. So this was a good learning experience for me, as well as the opportunity to help others with their goals.

How does perfectionism affect you and your goals? How do you push past the urge to keep working until your task is perfect?



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Comments

4 Responses to “What I’ve Learned About Perfectionism”
  1. Patrenia says:

    Perfectionism affects me a lot too and ends up causing a lot of unnecessary stress. I’ll say this…most of my goals do end up getting accomplished by pushing forward and setting a time limit. Other goals still don’t make it, but that’s ok. I don’t really consider them to be goals that have to be achieved today anyways. But it is a problem that I’m sure a lot of us fall victim to…then you’re mad with yourself because now you realize ALL the time you’ve wasted. #viciouscycle LOL

    • Anilia says:

      I think the time limit is important. Most of the time when I succumb to perfectionism, I don’t have a deadline so I just keep going. The few times I work past the deadline are the times when I don’t keep in mind the point of me doing whatever it is I’m trying to do. Being perfect becomes more important than performance :-(

  2. Kola says:

    great post, Anilia! i have come to realize that i’m a perfectionist only with certain activities. so whenever i’m about to engage in those activities, i make sure that i have something scheduled right afterward. that gives me a hard stop/deadline
    Kola recently posted: What’s That in Your Head?

  3. ' RL' DAVIS says:

    Miss Anillia, Thanks for the personal e-mail and for welcoming me. I haven’t read this article yet. I promise you that before I move any correspondence from you – to a saved folder I’ll read it. Continued success with your teaching and networking!

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