How to be successful: Overcome perfectionism and procrastination, two sides of the same coin
Perfectionism and procrastination are usually considered separate, unrelated topics. However, upon closer inspection, they look more like kissing cousins than casual friends.
Procrastination is an obvious obstacle to success and achievement; while the other, perfectionism, manifests as a desire to present quality and accuracy. More often than not, both serve the same purpose… preventing you from achieving your goals and dreams. Let’s take a closer look to see what I mean.
Perfectionism… the power of the ego! I’ve had my own problems and experiences with perfectionism. One thing I’ve learned about this is that seeing something as “perfect” has to do with where we are at a certain point in our growth and awareness.
I’m still working on getting over it completely, but now I’m much more aware of when I’m giving in to it. It was an obstacle to being and performing my best for a long time. When I learned to let it go and allow my inner self to express “me” as I am, things began to flow much better and I accomplished much more.
When I look back at some of the works I once thought were “perfect”, well… they don’t seem so perfect now. I grew and developed; and my beliefs and perceptions changed.
While most of my work still makes me proud, other projects seem underdeveloped or unpolished. And some of them make me think… “what was I thinking when I wrote or made this!”
For example, I started writing a book a few years after I lost my son. It seemed so enlightened and strong at the time. I spent years rewriting, revising, and trying to “make it perfect.”
I had so much to say and I wanted it to be just right. I ended up never posting it. I worked on it for years, but it was never finished. To me, he was never the shining example of perfection that I wanted him to be.
Now that I look at the manuscript, I regret not finishing it and letting it be published. I had a message that was never delivered. Those I wanted to help never got around to reading what I had to offer, meaning we all lost the benefit of this missed opportunity.
Now let’s look at procrastination. Simply put, it’s the only habit that will stop you. We all do it, even successful people procrastinate. The difference is that they have learned to recognize it and have developed techniques to control and overcome it.
Procrastination manifests itself in many ways. When it comes time to work on our projects and tasks, we subconsciously look for and find every excuse in the world to avoid doing them.
In our office, we take bathroom breaks, visit with fellow employees, drink coffee, make phone calls, maybe surf the web! At home we play with the kids, walk the dog, do housework, water the plants, make phone calls and yes, surf the web…see where I’m going with this?
It’s okay if you procrastinate every now and then; and don’t be ironic about it. But you need to recognize the signs when you do and take steps to stop it before it stops you.
While perfectionism seems like a positive attribute and is seen as something to be admired, procrastination is widely recognized for what it actually is…an obstacle to your success.
The bottom line is that whether you’re a perfectionist or a procrastinator, the end result is the same…you miss deadlines, fail to complete projects and achieve your goals and dreams.
If these time-wasting and energy-sapping behaviors are allowed to continue unchecked, you’ll end up feeling frustrated and defeated at every turn.
No matter how talented and capable you are, you will never reach your full potential until you master and control these behaviors.
So what is the answer? It’s simple, but not necessarily easy. First, learn to identify what behavior you are exhibiting and when.
Are you constantly reworking, rewriting, and revising projects, causing you to miss or delay deadlines? This can be a sign of perfectionism.
Instead, make every effort to complete your project, make reasonable revisions, and release it as complete… on time. When you’ve done your best, you know it, and feelings of success and accomplishment are your rewards.
When you procrastinate, it’s hard to even start a project. You get knots in your stomach, feel anxious, restless and even guilty.
But once you get past procrastination and complete a milestone or task, you feel calm, satisfied, and motivated. It gives you a sense of success and achievement and boosts your self-esteem.
Now that you know how to recognize what behavior you are exhibiting, you will be able to decide what action to take. I said the answer was simple, but not necessarily easy.
The truth is, you are the solution. And how you deal with these challenges is up to you.
Taking action requires willpower, focus and self-discipline. Make a decision to change the self-defeating behaviors of perfectionism and procrastination and instead choose to experience success and achievement.
I’m making a plan. The next time you start procrastinating, stop yourself; take 3 deep breaths and do something related to your project or work.
When you see perfectionism creep up, set a deadline for completing a phase or milestone and stick to it. Do your best, then let it be finished and move on to the next phase or project.
As with all things in life, it all comes down to choice. You can choose to continue experiencing the limitations and resistance of perfectionism and procrastination, or embrace the freedom and joy that comes with achievement and success.
Procrastination and perfectionism, or success and achievement; Which of these two kissing cousins would you rather have in your family? Choose wisely… you will spend the rest of your life with them. Perfect!
#successful #Overcome #perfectionism #procrastination #sides #coin