How To Overcome Perfectionism

There is one limiting belief that really does make or break entrepreneurs.


As an entrepreneur perfectionism is deadly to your business and to you and your sanity if you really want to play big and take on things that you've never done before. So today, we're going to take a look under the hood and look out what actually is behind perfectionism and why is it present for so many people.

And don't worry, I'm not going to leave you hanging. I'm also going to share with you The Perfectionists Workout, a workbook i’ve created to help you workout your growth mindset muscles to help you overcome perfectionism.

What even is perfectionism?

Okay, so first things first. Let's define what perfectionism really is. There's no better person to go to on this other than the queen on this subject, Brené Brown.

Brené Brown talks about perfectionism and distinguishes it from healthy striving or wanting to move towards excellence. She talks about perfectionism and striving as very different things. I'm sure if you're an A type high performer, that is good news to you because this idea of not striving or not working towards excellence is probably a little bit disconcerting.

Perfectionism is the belief that unless you are perfect, unless you show up and live perfectly, be perfectly, act perfectly, you are not worthy and that it really is, it really comes down to not being seen, or not wanting to be seen, fear of being seen. And the impact of that as an entrepreneur is huge. Especially if you are an entrepreneur and you are your brand.

The Cost Of Perfectionism

So imagine now ... And maybe you don't have to imagine. Maybe this is you. You are your brand and you're not wanting to show up and be seen because you think in order to be seen and show up fully, you have to be perfect. You have to show up in this perfect package or you have to nail it the first time. It might look like launching a course. It might be as simple as a social media post. But when you believe that the only way to be successful is to absolutely nail it, what happens is you don't actually take the next step. You don't actually even play.

An amazing analogy that I like to share when it comes to this is around a dart board. So imagine a dart board. And imagine playing darts, but the only way you are willing to take a shot was if you knew you were going to hit the bullseye. There is no fun in that game at all. And the possibility of you being successful and feeling successful is very, very small. When you open up your possibility to be like, "I'm okay with wherever that dart lands. I'm going to do my best because there's going to be learning in the process and I'm going to get better and better as I grow," that is where real growth happens. And that's where you can actually make movement towards having that wildly successful business and living that rich and fulfilling values driven life.

How To Overcome Perfectionism

Okay, so what the hell do you do about this? The first step, like all of these limiting barriers and beliefs, is to create an awareness around it. So bring to mind a place where perfectionism is holding you back. A place where you're not taking the shot where you know you really want to take that shot. Take a moment to think about that, journal on it, do whatever you need to get clear on the cost of perfectionism to you and your business.

The flip side of that cost is around fear of scarcity and saying yes to things that you actually should be saying no to. These are the things that have you playing safe, that have you not really stepping out of your comfort zone because you know that you can do them and that you can show up and look good. Those are just as detrimental to your success as the areas that you're not taking shots on. So take a moment to journal around that. Where are you taking shots that you actually should probably let go and you should say no to because they aren't in alignment with what you actually ... What your big picture vision and your big picture goals are.

Choosing A Growth Mindset

Choosing a growth mindset over a fixed mindset is where your freedom lies. People with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities are never changing, that they're fixed, that they can't actually get better at something if they don't know how to do it. They see failure as a reflection on their own shortcomings. So no wonder when failure comes up, they don't like it or they want to avoid it all together.

The link between a fixed mindset and perfectionism is huge. When you believe that you cannot change, when you believe that failure is a bad thing, you're not going to take the risk, make the leap, take that shot.

The alternate to fixed mindset is a growth mindset. A growth mindset can be cultivated no matter what mindset you might currently have. It's just a practice. People with a growth mindset believe that everything is figureoutable. That failure is actually an opportunity to grow and learn. They see failure as something that's interesting and they get curious about it. They also believe that their skillset and their abilities can change and that they can cultivate, and do anything, and be anything that they want. You can probably start to see how this mindset can really serve you when it comes to overcoming perfectionism and really stepping out of that fear of failure.

The Perfectionist’s Workout

If you don't know, right now, whether you have a fixed or a growth mindset, no prob. I've got you covered. Download The Perfectionist Workout. The assessment will give you a clue to which mindset you spend most of your time in and then from there you can choose a “workout” to workout your growth mindset muscles.

All right, so it's time to get into action. What is one thing that you can do today that would have you take a shot somewhere that you have been holding back? It can be big, it can be small. The key here is that you're getting into action right away.

Comment below with the one thing that you're taking a shot on that you know you should, but you've been holding back.

If you found this post helpful share it with some friends and make sure to check out some of the other posts in this Overcoming Limiting Beliefs Series like - How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty.

Ready to do some deep dive limiting beliefs mindset work? Connect with me for a complimentary Goal Design Coaching Session to co-create your next steps.

Kristin Constable, Whole Life Leadership + Business Coach