Perfectionism. I’m sure as a creative business owner you’ve had a penchant in this direction from time to time if not all the time.
It’s certainly something I had to surrender when my daughter was born and things in the household became a little less tidy and a little more chaotic (and I’ll admit sometimes the mess and huge amount of primary coloured toys still makes me crazy!)
I do still carry perfectionist tendencies not only throughout my life and my being but in my work and my working practise and over the years I’ve experienced A LOT of resistance to being told that it’s a negative thing because I don’t actually believe it is. And heck did it take a lot of soul searching to figure out that’s why I was holding resistance to it after getting overly grumpy with a coach who told me that I was one.
Because here’s the thing – as creatives (and as women) we tend to gravitate towards thinking about things from so many different angles – we think about the consequences of making a particular action (in creation of our work or in life), we think about what that means and how to get the best and give others the best experience of it, we think about other peoples feelings surrounding it and any possible combination of those things before during and after creating our work.
And certainly, making conscious considered choices is a great thing for your unique business it shows intentionality, consideration, care and integrity.
Is it perfectionism or procrastination?
Here’s why people perfectionism as a negative:
Firstly some people simply don’t understand it and this is by no means a judgement but some people do make quick decisions, some people are very impulsive so being quite so considered and intentional may be a shift to the way the are wired to think and act.
The second problem with perfectionism can be not taking action and deliberating or procrastinating over what it is that you’re doing and not actually pushing forward to get the job done and complete it.
And yes a huge percentage of creative people admit to starting projects and not finishing them but 1) we’re all multi talented (and if you’re anything like me you’ll create whatever you’re feeling most energised by in that moment) and 2) that’s proof that we’re consistently evolving. It doesn’t by any means make you a fickle person.
If you’ve found yourself procrastinating over a task and are putting off what you know full well could create change, income or fulfilment in your life or business but just can’t seem to get it done – this comes from a different place than your perfectionist tendencies do.
Fear, judgement, non-acceptance, plain old being misaligned – all of these things can quite easily be mistaken for perfectionism but they’re something else entirely and create barriers to your goals and momentum.
And the way to shift those out of the way is to shift your self perception.
Any blocks that you may have to achieving what you want and taking effective aligned action towards your goals are related to previous experiences (the past) and our projection of those things on the future.
To create any changes or remove any blocks or procrastination out of your path, a change must take place on identity level because its how we identify with an event, a memory or a possibility that creates the block and makes us either think that something will happen the same way again, isn’t possible for us or could be painful to go through – all of which are based on previous experiences.
So how do we shift our perception?
There are a number of different ways – MAP and meditation being my favourite go to’s for shifting the subconscious belief or behaviour effectively (I’m a little impatient so anything that works fast works for me!).
But the main thing that will make a difference for you is simply knowing whether what is present for you is perfectionism or procrastination and becoming aware of why that procrastination is happening, where it originates from and making an intentional choice (and trying to stick to it which can be the harder part) to take different ACTIONS than the procrastination (block / belief) would have you take.
Think of it like therapy – you can either go and talk something over for six months, journal about it for 6 months (long route), go for MAP or meditation and rewire your neural pathways (fast route) or create awareness through daily practice (middle road!).
I hope that this post has helped you to become aware of the difference between perfectionism and procrastination (as they can be easily confused until we question them!) and how perfectionism can be really beneficial to your business practice, building your confidence and knowledge that you know what you’re doing and why (making conscious considered choices) and showing your integrity, consideration and passion for what it is that you bring to the world.
And the next time someone calls you a perfectionist you can just smile and tell them how great it is (yeah I do that!)