By Sunny Simon
If you’re in need of a reality check, I offer you some sage advice. Hang out with your very best friends. Select the individuals who take honesty just shy of the brutal level. Recently I experienced some cold hard truths which I needed to hear.
Discovering I was trying too hard was a real eye-opener. Sure, I’ve written and coached on the dangers of reaching for perfectionism, never realizing I was careening down that slippery slope until Irma, Carol and Joan set me straight. It was high time for the coach to get some coaching and I listened-up and soaked it all in. Letting your vulnerabilities show with people who love you is safe. There are no hidden agendas because friends don’t let friends stray into dangerous territory.
Striving to achieve perfectionism is not only exhausting, it borders on obsession. Lately a silent mantra continually drummed in my head, telegraphing the subliminal message: “Make it better.” Yep, whether I was writing an article or putting on my eye make-up, the results never seemed good enough.
In the week since I’ve returned from the “perfectionism intervention” performed by my BFF’s, I find myself laughing more and stressing less. Making the behavioral adjustment wasn’t so hard. Read on as I share a few hints on how to overcome a perfectionism binge.
Begin with a little self deprecating humor. Write down five of your imperfections and over the next few days find ways to poke fun at these flaws in public. Others appreciate your honesty. Admitting your imperfections makes you more authentic and likeable. So fess up and share the laugher.
Another strategy I find uplifting is searching for the beauty in things that are less than perfect. For example, stop putting off something until that illusive magic moment. Rarely does the ideal time surface. Take that dress out of your closet. You know the one you’ve been refusing to wear until you lose five pounds. Put it on, smile and strut your stuff.
Setting time limits is a very liberating tactic. For example, are you guilty of continually reworking assignments and work presentations? In the future, set a hard stop. Give yourself one hour to do an awesome job then call it a wrap. Just focus on that four letter word STOP and give yourself permission to move on to the next activity on your list.
Always do your best, but experience peace in understanding perfection is illusive.
One last thought to remember, we all get by with a little help from our friends. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net