Never feeling good enough can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. When you feel like you need to get things right, projects can become very time -consuming and take longer than necessary. This might cause you to miss opportunities and lead to a poor habit of over-committing. In this blog post we’ll look at taming perfectionism and procrastination so you can feel into a new rhythm and build momentum.
The pursuit of perfection can lead to procrastination and a fear of making mistakes. We’ve all been there and this is especially true for entrepreneurs who set unrealistically high standards for themselves. This often results in self-sabotage where you constantly revise and refine your work without ever finishing it. Worse yet is when you finish and then not release it out into the world.
I admit I’ve been sitting on projects and content for months, and ideas that have stayed in a notebook for years. This serves no one. And it certainly doesn’t have any impact when no one knows about it or has any access to it.
So why do we do that when we can be so purpose-driven and even have a tendency to be over-achievers? Well, there are a few reasons and bringing them to light may just activate a switch that gets things going and “out there” again so read on.
One reason is that you fear the responsibilities and changes that come with success. This alone is enough to keep us in our comfort zone where it feels easier to manage. Another way we might self-sabotage is getting stuck in a perpetuating cycle of perfectionism and procrastination. Wanting to get everything on point, in the right way at the right time for the right people. Right? Sometimes we gain some good momentum after taming these tendencies but they can resurface later causing us to feel self-defeated.
Third, and another one related to fear, is not meeting expectations. This is true both when it’s your own expectations or those coming from others. These negative thoughts are ones you not even be aware of causing you to subconsciously sabotage your efforts to avoid potential failure, disappointment or shame.
In fact shame is what I think is the true “imposter” when we talk about Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is of course another threat to success and you can read more about that in the blog article, “Who is the Imposter?” There’s also a video panel discussion if you want to go even deeper. It’s important to address this one as it can really undermine your accomplishments.
Shaming yourself with harsh criticism and negative self-talk can erode your confidence and motivation and make you start believing you can’t succeed.
Another reason we may procrastinate is not having clear goals and knowing how to prioritize.
Taming Perfectionism and Procrastination
Which of these do you feel is holding you back the most? Write it down then see if you can shift it into a positive affirmation. This will help shift your focus and shape your mindset into one that helps you gain the momentum you need to regain your confidence. Here’s one example. Let’s say your biggest saboteur is the fear of success. You can use this to turn it on it’s head with an affirmation like, “I embrace my success.” Try a few of your own and start reprogramming yourself so can build your self-esteem and become an esteemed entrepreneur. Really this works for any individuals, not just entrepreneurs.
Another step in the direction of personal and professional development is to challenge your perfectionism by knowing when good is good enough. Caroline Castrillon wrote a good article with 5 strategies to build unshakable self-confidence.
While perfectionism and procrastination are often seen as hindrances to productivity and well-being, there are situations where they can be advantageous. For instance, having high standards means you likely also have exceptional attention to detail and quality in your work. Probably more than you give yourself credit for. You are also probably highly motivated, diligent and have already achieved outstanding results and innovative solutions.
Procrastination isn’t so bad sometimes either. It could be a sign of a creative thinker who waits for the breakthrough moment. Some people do very well when there is an impending deadline and have more focus when under a time crunch. And of course it’s perfectly acceptable to put things off when you need to conserve your energy. It’s really important to rest and take a break or sabbatical, especially when you are feeling mentally or physically fatigued, or emotionally drained.
It’s important to note that while there are potential benefits to perfectionism and procrastination, they can also lead to negative consequences when taken to extremes. Striking a balance and knowing when to harness these traits for positive outcomes, and when to mitigate their negative effects, is crucial for personal and professional growth.
Known as, “The Soul Illuminator”, Jennifer Regular specializes in helping Thought Leaders, Creatives and Visionaries direct the life they live so they can create global impact. She is an Inspirational Speaker, Transformational Author, and Visionary of the Wake Up and Change the World Global Summit. Jennifer also hosts the Awaken & Ascend Podcast offering valuable insights and resources for personal and spiritual growth. Learn more