How Your Need For Perfection Is Literally Killing Your Performance

Image for post
Image for post

Melissa was always doing things the hard way. Every detail was meticulously agonized over. Her work always had to be perfect. The covers for her e-books proudly displayed on her Amazon bookstore, were pristine. As a result, there were only two.

She released a new e-book every two years. Her editor always appreciated her finished work but it took so long for her to get them out the door that they lost their luster for her work as did her readers.

Melissa was stuck in the mindset that everything had to be perfect or no one was going to like it. And if there was a doubt in her mind that her work was less than stellar, then it would be held hostage on her laptop’s hard drive.

Ray was the same way. If he thought he would have a hard time closing a sale, he wouldn’t touch the lead. Thus, his closing rate was phenomenal, but his productivity rate was in the toilet, causing him to lose to Damon, his long-standing colleague with a lesser track record of success.

Melissa and Ray suffered from what is known as: Perfection Paralysis. Damon did not.

As a result, Damon got results. The others got more excuses…

What Stops Melissa and Ray

For Melissa, she always felt like everyone was judging who she was and what she was doing. Whether she was cooking for her family or helping a friend with their project.

The memories of her father always saying, “But why did you do it that way? It could have been so much better this way.” Similar memories of her mother, always criticizing her fashion sense and her friends. She never felt like she amounted to anything. Much less success.

And Ray, well, Ray was just scared that he’d make a mistake. That would have been the end-all-be-all for him. He wasn’t allowed mistakes. They were for mere mortals, I mean, the people who didn’t take pride in their work like he told himself.

But this attitude, locked him inside his box. His world was in a constant state of next time.

Don’t Be Melissa or Ray

You want to get a job done, then you have to go out and get it done by actually doing stuff. Your thoughts cannot be about what someone else will think. They cannot be about failing nor can they cannot be about whether or not your competition is doing what you’re doing, only better.

Because when you let these thoughts enter your world too often, this negative thought pattern becomes a habit. You choose to let unattainable perfection stand in your way. And when I say unattainable, I mean just that. There’s no way for everything you do to be perfect.

There will always be an a$$ standing on the sidelines waiting to shoot you down. There will always be the past that you have outgrown or some other clown hoping you fail because they do not have the b@lls to do anything themselves.

You are a leader. You are not a follower. And you cannot let “what if” stand between you and the finish line.

You have an idea that you think could be amazing? Then flesh it out. If it isn’t amazing, tweak it later.

You have project on your desk that you want to present, but you don’t want to screw it up? The only way you’re going to do that is by letting it sit there rotting like an apple.

One Reason

There are NO other reasons why you don’t follow through. Except you.

I don’t care what kind of upbringing you had. What your zip code was or where your daddy or mommy grew up… I don’t care what education you THINK you lack. I don’t care what sort of mojo you think you’re missing. Get over it!

It’s in your head.

Get — It — Out.

Ending Paralysis

If you truly want to succeed, if you want to earn the rewards (doing work that matters) that you have been talking incessantly about for years the you have ONE choice: To forget everything else and DO.

Every time negative thoughts creep into your head and slow you down, diverting your attention away from what you’re doing, or whisper hellish lies at you, it’s your job to make them stand down.

Recognize the actions you’re taking and put yourself back on track with, “I got this.”

Then, you power through it. It may hurt (emotionally) but there are ways to manage everything that has put a toe in your way. It’s up to you to destroy them. I can’t do it for you. I can’t hold your hand and say, “It’ll be okay, let’s just move forward,” as much as I would like to.

There’s no one that is going to save you, except you.

Written by

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store