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Overcoming My Personal Battle with Perfectionism

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

In Episode 64 of the Power Your Platform Podcast, I'm getting a lot more personal than my other shows, and that’s because I’m unpacking my own journey with perfectionism.

I hope you’ll join me as I pinpoint some of the key indicators that confirm I was definitely a perfectionist while I was growing up. PLUS how perfectionism manifested itself later in my life. I’ll share also with you how I now manage this potential success blocker in my career, my business and my personal life.

And keep in mind – I’m still not perfect at avoiding perfectionism – and that’s OK.

In a nutshell, perfectionism is the refusal to accept anything short of perfection. And that goes not only for business, but personal appearance, marriage, parenting and so much more.

The reason I want to talk about perfectionism today is because it can be a real success blocker for women who hold back from sharing their story or launching a new brand or product because they’re worried it’s not going to be… well, perfect.

Here are some signs I was a perfectionist as a kid:

- I was an only child which birth order studies tell you set me up right at the start for perfectionism. For this reason, before I was a people pleaser, I was a parent pleaser.

- I compared myself to my friends, especially when it came to school grades.

- I avoided playing on teams because it would frustrate me when others didn’t give the game 100%. Because I. Wanted. To. Win.

- I suffered from insomnia often as a result of my perfectionism-fueled anxiety.

- In university, I signed up for the classes I knew I could ace. In other words, I was avoiding failure at all costs.

- My perfectionism also showed up in my marriage and my parenting and so many other places! Because there’s no place you can go to hide from perfectionism. Wherever you go, there you are.

These days, I’m happy to report that the perfectionist tendencies have been replaced with more realistic expectations, ones that definitely allow some room for error.

Here are some of the signs of perfectionism you might have picked up from my own story:

1. Perfectionists tend to think in all or nothing terms.

2. Perfectionists tend to be highly critical of themselves and others.

3. Perfectionists often set unrealistic standards for themselves and those around them.

4. Insomnia is another sign that perfectionism might be present.

5. Another perfectionist tendency is feeling depressed when things don’t go as planned.

Here are 4 solutions for moving past perfectionism:

1. Be mindful when perfectionist tendencies crop up in your life, and avoid falling back into familiar patterns of behaviour.

2. Look for the learning opportunities – and not just the wins – inside the challenging situations you face.

3. Embrace failure as a natural part of success.

4. Let love – and not fear – be your guide.

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