One of the most common causes of stress is perfectionism.
When we have to do everything perfectly it keeps us from finishing tasks, from letting things go, from taking action.
If you learn to accept that sometimes things can be done well enough you can greatly reduce your stress levels.
Perfectionism is paralyzing
When you have to do everything perfectly it is hard to start. You can easily feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of you.
This hinders us from taking action; we don’t dare to because the result has to be perfect.
Action is the only way to succeed with anything, if you don’t try and risk failure you cannot succeed.
We never stop planning
To succeed with a goal it is very important to have a plan, to know exactly what you want and how you are going to complete it. The problem though is that most plans become obsolete once they are put into action, they need to be constantly update to fit new realities.
Many perfectionists never get out of the planning faze because the plan needs to be perfect.
The problem is that no plan can be perfect, you cannot foresee every event and you will have to remake your plans as you go along.
Staying in the planning faze for too long only makes your success take that much longer.
We can’t let things go
To produce as much as possible sometimes you need to just say, this is good enough, so that you can get on with the next task. Everything cannot be perfect all the time. If you try to you will never be able to finish a task and you won’t be able to produce at your highest levels.
A constant source of stress
When everything needs to be perfect it can grow into an obsession, maybe not all that powerful but strong enough to make it a constant cause of stress if you aren’t doing everything perfectly all the time.
Fear of Failure
The most common cause of perfectionism is the fear of failure and the fear of rejection.
Many are afraid that if everything isn’t done perfectly they will be subjected to ridicule and failure.
This is one of the most common reasons that people do not succeed.
They are more afraid of failing than they are inspired by success, they are afraid to take action because that might mean that they fail.
To succeed you must first fail, failure isn’t a bad thing, and really it doesn’t even exist.
The most successful people in the world have all been bankrupt at least once, the reason is that they take risks, try and learn (fail). Every time they learn a lesson they pick themselves up and try again with this new knowledge, sometimes they need to learn something more and they fail (learn) again and again they pick themselves up.
This circle goes on and on until they have learned all they need to succeed.
But one thing I can guarantee you; If you try again and again and learn each time, nothing can keep you from success. I guarantee that you will succeed.
Failure is therefore nothing to be afraid of. If you are really want to complete your goals it doesn’t matter if you hit a few speed bumps on the way.
I have failed with multiple businesses, but each time I learned things, each time I got smarter, each time I used the lessons and next time it always went better.
As Michael Jordan said – “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”
How to break the habit
Accept that everything doesn’t always have to be perfect. That sometimes it is more important to get things out the door than it is to make them 100% perfect.
Since society keeps expecting us to produce more and more we need to adapt and learn to accept things when they are good enough.
That said we shouldn’t make mistakes since that means we will have to go back and redo the task, it is better to get it right the first time.
But often things don’t need to be perfect, your boss just wants to get a good overview when she asks for your report. It doesn’t have to look perfect as long as it is understandable.
Get your tasks to a good quality and then move on the next.
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