As humans, we’re imperfect beings. Yet, as women we often strive for perfection. Where does this strive for perfection lead us? It may lead to procrastination, where we feel it or we has to be perfect to even start or to get our work out there. Or. it may lead to overwork where we don’t ask others for help because only we can do it “right” or perfectly. Taken to the extreme, we may become workaholics. And certainly, both of these approaches leads to stress and being out of balance. Plus, we’re missing out on some great opportunities for connection and compassion.
How do we put aside the need to be perfect? Here are some tips:
1.) Challenge what you tell yourself and what you tell others. We can change the words from “it has to be perfect” to “I want it to be excellent”. What are the meanings of these two words for you? When we shift the words, we allow for different actions and different outcomes. Brené Brown (2010) in The gifts of Imperfection distinguishes what what we tell ourselves when we are striving for perfection versus when we are making a more positive shift in our self-talk. When you’re getting ready for a party and looking in the mirror, what are you telling yourself? Are you looking at your flaws or looking from a place of self-love and admiration?
2) Take imperfect but excellent actions. Procrastinating or fear getting your work out there? Just start and then continuously learn to improve. Wanting excellence rather than perfection lends a different emotion allowing you to take action or different actions. Rather than fear of how your work will be accepted, be excited for the learning and the potential feedback you will receive. And then, grow from there.
3) Ask for support. In delegating to others or asking for help, we are still responsible for the results. When we delegate we train, motivate and guide others. We hone our skills as more effective managers and leaders.
4) Be gentle with yourself and supportive of each other. Being grateful for the learning and job well-done with imperfect actions gets us motivated to continue. When we’re gentle with ourselves, we can then be patient with others. Take ten minutes out of a busy day to acknowledge accomplishments, take a walk, or meditate. When we support each other and ask for help, we also create connection and community.
5) Practice, Practice, Practice allowing yourself to accept yourself as excellent and “good enough.”
Letting go of perfection does take practice. If you feel the need to practice, why not enroll for my 21 Day Challenge, Embracing Your Woman Power. It’s just one of the topics we’ll practice. Click here to learn more and to enroll. The Challenge began this morning with a live tele call that has been recorded. There’s still today to jump right in.