What is the meaning of perfection paralysis?
I am certain perfection paralysis affects everyone at some point or another. We want to do the job right, so we start to do research about how to do it. The more we learn, the more we need to learn. We get our head in a tailspin about how much we need to know. So, we commit our time to learn as much about it as possible, and we put the actual work on hold. Most of the time we do not even get started and it becomes a forgotten dream. Believe me, it happened to me a ton of times. But it must end, especially if your “Why” is big enough.
Perfection paralysis symptoms (Analysis Paralysis)
There are some tell-tale signs you are in the grips of perfection paralysis.
Rather than get started on a task and produce good or even good enough work, we don’t start. You do not meet the deadline because you have an unrealistic standard to live up to.
This can happen because we focus on what we have not done. Focusing on the past does not create the future. Only by being present can we achieve our future. When we are anxious, we tend to freeze and do less.
You have done nothing, and you feel like a failure. You no longer talk about your dreams and aspirations. You are scared that when you put yourself out there people will laugh and diminish you.
New Thing Averse
Shame can lead to you not trying new things. And this puts you in the perfection paralysis cycle. You are “perfect” because you do not try.
The above symptoms give you a good idea of what problems can occur when you try to be perfect. Most people only publish their wins to the world. Social media displays an unrealistic view of what others did to succeed. If we believe that some people just get it “perfect” straight away, we can fall into the perfection paralysis trap! This leads to fear of failure and we never start. The ensuing embarrassment, judgment, and vulnerability can lead us to not achieving our dreams and aspirations.
It could even lead to you not creating and having good relationships in your life because you no longer share your failures and challenges.
The 5 secrets to overcoming perfection paralysis and procrastination.
Well, they aren’t really secrets, and they aren’t really things you don’t already know, but sometimes a reminder helps us to get unstuck.
1 Stop caring so much about what people think!
Everyone likes to feel successful, and we don’t like to fail. We seem to care what others think. And of course, it’s good to care about that, but not to our detriment. The truth is they are so busy with their own lives and their problems, they don’t even notice! Right now, think about your best friends’ failures. Does it make you want to stop being friends with them? Does it even make them look like a failure in your eyes? Probably not, they are human like you. (and at least they are trying).
2 Start by lowering your standard!
Now I know this seems different from what most people say, but to have a high standard, you need to start small. Most kids learn to ride a bike with training wheels first. It’s ok to make mistakes, everyone does. The best part is, you can always go back and fix them later.
3 Break it up into small parts.
Every big achievement is a sum of smaller achievements (with even more failures in between).
For example, if you are trying to write a blog, break it down into a list:
– Find a topic
– Decide on your keywords
– Research topic
– Write an outline
– Fill out the paragraphs one at a time
– Find images
– Have it checked
To begin with, make sure that each piece of work is small and has a definite timeline to it. Once the time is up, you need to move on (come back later to fix it)
4 Get an accountability partner.
Find someone you know and trust and let them know what you are doing. Have them check in with you each day or each week. There will be a greater desire to achieve the goal as opposed to explaining to someone why you did not do it.
5 Create a routine.
Everyone is different, but I like to get my most important work done early in the day. I get up at the same time every day and follow my routine.
My basic routine
Morning: Exercise, Plan, get a quick win
Evening: Reflect and Reward
The rest of the day seems to flow after that. Routine becomes a habit and habits are easy. Small wins are important, they make you feel good about yourself. And do not forget to reward yourself. Rewarding yourself reminds you to stay present and enjoy the journey. Each day reflect on what worked and what did not. Do more of what worked the next day.
The reason I wrote on this topic is that I was suffering from the same symptoms about writing my first blog. I researched for 2 weeks! And I can probably research this topic for another year and still not know how to do it perfectly!
It scares me to put myself out there. What if no one reads this? (I guess I will not be found out at least!) What if I leave in spelling and grammar errors and the google grammar police scroll through my nonsense? What if it gets terrible comments?
But what if someone reads this and gets themselves out of the “Perfection Paralysis Cycle”?
Are you ready to Launch into the Digital Space?