Support: Overcoming Perfectionism

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If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. ~ Nora Roberts

Let me tell you a story about a ceramics teacher who divided her class into two groups. She gave each group a separate assignment. One group’s focus was quantity and to make 50 pots. The other group’s assignment was on quality making the perfect pot.

At the week’s end, they were to judge who had the best pot. To their surprise, the quantity focused group won. Why?

The group concentrating on quality became frozen with their fixation on getting every single detail perfect, they never moved forward. In contrast, the quantity targeted group learned from their mistakes, and continued learning and tweaking until ultimately made the best pot.

This story illustrates how perfectionism can be stifling; however, if one takes action and starts creating —that will help break the stagnation. The more you do, the better the outcome will be.

Did you see that?

The number one cure to perfectionism is to simply take action?

There’s a link between perfectionism and procrastination; both are motivation killers. When we feel tremendous pressure to do things perfectly, we overwhelm ourselves before we even start. Seeking perfection is impossible, unsatisfying, and frustrating.

Conversely, achieving any level of progress is very doable, satisfying, and rewarding. Seek to set small goals. Pick one very tiny thing; something unintimidating and just do it. By taking that one small step, progress is made and progress puts us squarely on the path to combating perfectionism.

Change One Thing

When a client is in total overwhelm, I help them with setting step by step achievable goals. As these goals morph into accomplishments, confidence is built to move forward productively.

I once had a client in so much overwhelm, she couldn’t even concentrate on mixing her hCG to start another round. For two to three weeks, I would ask her daily, “Did you mix yet?” Her answer was, “I had to do this-and-that, and I couldn’t even THINK about mixing today.”

Finally I said, “Ok, you are just wasting your money (YES! I tell clients that at times!) Let’s get this thing done.” The larger goal of another hCG round was being delayed by the much smaller task of mixing. To support her larger goal it was imperative to break it down into smaller doable components. A step by step list was developed, thus helping to jumpstart her progress.

It was as simple as:

  • Monday:  Find your hCG – place it next to your computer.
  • Tuesday:  Find your mixing supplies. Place them next to your hCG, next to your computer.
  • Wednesday:  Find your dosing supplies. Place them next to your hCG, next to your mixing supplies, next to your computer.
  • Thursday:  Get a Ziploc gallon freezer bag and place it next to your supplies, next to your computer.
  • Friday:  Mix your hCG. Place mixture in the refrigerator.
  • Saturday:  Draw up daily doses in syringes in preparation for freezing. Place them in your freezer.
  • Sunday:  Start loading.

I know it seems a little simplistic; however, it was the impetus to get her started. Besides if feels really good to mark completed items off a checklist. If you find yourself in a state of “perfectionists overwhelm” making a list might be the ticket to get the job done, move forward, and change your life.

Remember, big results are the sum total of many small changes made day after day.

Baby steps work.

Trust me.


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