Being a perfectionist is a good thing, right? Constantly striving to be perfect in everything you do? There's just one problem: it often leads to feelings of low self-worth and failure when you don't quite measure up to your own high standards..
In this article, we'll tell you how to deal with the guilt that perfectionism often brings, especially for small business owners. (Who are often the biggest perfectionists of all…)Guilt is a normal feeling – it's a very human emotion. The problem arises when we start feeling guilty all the time.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to do well and be successful, but when you're a business owner and you've put so much of your time, your hopes, and your very identity into your business, you can feel disproportionately CRUSHED if you're not successful 100% of the time.
Let's look at a few examples:
You've just finished a major project – and it could have been better. You didn't quite get all your "must haves" into the design, because the client only wanted to pay for so many revisions…Or maybe you didn't keep your client happy, and now they've given you bad reviews. You feel like a failure because you didn't provide the stellar service that was expected…
Or maybe you put your heart and soul into writing an ebook – something totally new for you. But nobody wants to buy it. Or maybe people DID buy it, but only one or two, and now you feel like a total failure and like you should just give up on your business completely.
The problem with perfectionism
Perfectionists often feel like they're the only ones who ever make mistakes, and that they should be able to do everything perfectly all the time. And when their work doesn't measure up – which, it is pretty darn impossible to measure up to expectations of PERFECTION – you not only beat yourself up but consider giving up.
Oftentimes, the curse of the perfectionist is that any mistakes paralyze them, and send them into a downward spiral. Mistakes are a normal part of learning and growing, but when you're a perfectionist, you see things in black and white: "perfect," or "terrible."
"Perfect," or "I'm going to quit."
"Perfect," or "Nothing," because you refuse to put out work that's anything less than perfect.
So how do we get out of the guilt and perfectionism cycle?
The key is to simply force yourself to PUT OUT WORK and quit overanalyzing. The faster you put your work into the world – whether it's a blog post, a newsletter, an ebook, or anything else – the faster you'll start seeing real results. You can't be paralyzed by fear or by the cycle of hating and guilting yourself whenever mistakes are made. (Or, often, mistakes that YOU perceive as mistakes, that aren't even real or noticeable.)
Stop analyzing and just do it! And remember: no one is perfect – and that's not a bad thing. No matter how hard you try, there will always be room for improvement, but that doesn't mean you still can't produce excellent work. Making mistakes means you're taking risks, which oftentimes leads to better work! Chances are, your clients and customers are going to be far happier with regular updates, posts, new products, and anything else they can get from you, rather than waiting for the "perfect" social media update, new product, or service they've requested. They don't expect perfection – they just want YOU.
You'll make mistakes, but that's okay. Mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, they're extremely valuable for learning and growing as a business owner! So stop letting guilt paralyze your work and drive you to give up on your dreams. It's not healthy or productive. In fact, the only thing it will ever do is turn you into a bully against yourself.
We can help.
And if you need help putting your work into action, and your perfectionist tendencies are preventing you from getting the job done…why not put the creative, marketing, web design, email writing, and more into the hands of a TEAM who can guide and support your vision? That's where we come in. Your team of creative professionals at She Reigns Creative!
We're a team of professional writers, editors, designers, marketers, and business coaches who specialize in working with female-led businesses and scaling them up to 7 figures. We can help you build a plan for your business and to stop being held back by perfectionism! (We're a bit of perfectionists ourselves, but we try to keep it "reigned" in.)
Just schedule a free phone call with Steve today, and we'll be happy to talk with you and show you how we can help your business grow! (Hint: it's not by working harder, longer hours.)