Perfectionism is a bit like the big brother of the fear of mistakes – the stakes, however, are much higher.
You can’t allow a single blemish, because then it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.
It takes enormous amounts of time and effort to be perfect, and the temptation to put it all off is much larger.
The cost of failure is also much higher – I’ll get to that in a moment.
Perfectionism is a killer.
That’s because perfectionism is the symptom of a very detrimental mindset.
In her book “Mindset”, Carol Dweck talks about a “fixed mindset”.
This is the belief that you can only be good at something if you have talent.
And talent expresses itself with perfect results right away.
Perfectionism is the expression of this belief.
The downside, however, is horrible.
You see, if you make a single mistake, it’s proof you have no talent. That single mistake, blemish, error or imperfection will implode your foundation, your basis of who you are.
If you don’t have the talent you came to believe you had, possibly encouraged by your parents or your peers, or even teacher, you’re nothing.
You might as well quit and crawl under a rock.
This is why bad reviews can be so painful. Why a word of criticism can reduce you to a quivering jelly. Why pointing out an error can send people into a flying rage.
We and they are just defending their “talent”. And who they are. It’s big.
There is a solution.
The alternative to a “fixed mindset” is a “growth mindset”.
A “growth mindset” means you’re basing your expectations of success (and praise) on the learning process. You believe that putting in the work and learning your craft will result in getting better, and eventually successful.
Mistakes and errors are simply parts of the learning curve, and you welcome it when people point the out to you – as they give you the chance to learn better.
Carol Dweck found out that kids who are in the “growth mindset” have a much larger chance of being successful.
This seems very logical, right?
The good news is that it is possible to shift into a “growth mindset”. Unfortunately, it takes some work.
You see, we love the “fixed mindset” because it promises that we can get successful without putting in all that work! Just because we have this awesome talent. I know. I’ve been there…
It’s time to let go of the “fixed mindset”!
The faster you can let go of that “fixed mindset”, this belief in an invincible talent (which must be defended at all cost!), the easier it is to let go of perfectionism and procrastination.
Because actually doing the tasks, the work, the writing, the marketing, the bookkeeping, and actually putting in the time while DOING IT will make you better!
It will make life easier and more fun.
Can you see this amazing, stunning shift?
Can you feel this sudden desire to DO THINGS?
My favorite tool to change a mindset is EFT, of course. I know nothing that works faster. (And a 1:1 session works best.) So here are some tapping suggestions for you.
Even though I am a perfectionist, and I feel terrible when something isn’t perfect, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to take a closer look at my beliefs about talents and learning curves.
Even though it feels like a personal attack if someone points out an error, because I am a perfectionist, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to see that this person may actually want to help.
Even though I procrastinate because being perfect is so darn hard, I am okay the way I am, and I’m now willing to let go of perfectionism and to try out this learning curve people speak of.
Are you a perfectionist?
Does pointing out mistakes feel like an attack on your person?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – are you writing right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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