What is this episode about?
Have you ever wondered what’s holding you back? What’s stopping you from making the bold moves you see others making? How come the person with less experience than you seems to be so much further ahead? Why do you always feel like you’re busy, but you don’t feel like you’re achieving what you really want to? There’s a pretty good chance you might be a perfectionist! Not sure what that is - this episode uncovers what perfectionism looks like and how to identify if you might be one.
Hello and welcome to the very first episode of The Business of Perfectionism,
I am your host Kristy, and I am a business owner, a recovering perfectionist.
I have been wanting to start this podcast for the longest time and I am so freaking excited to finally be making this happen! This Podcast is going to be for you if you are a creative business owner, a perfectionist, love to talk about mindset and are completely open to changing your business and your life.
I know a lot of people start out with an intro episode but I’ve just decided to jump straight into the content, I created this podcast so I could help you overcome perfectionism, help you gain confidence and clarity, kick procrastination and overwhelm in the butt and begin to build the business you’ve been dreaming of.
One of the reasons I wanted to focus on perfectionism in business is because it’s a topic I feel incredibly passionate about and have a lot of personal experience in, but it’s also not something I feel it’s addressed a lot in business and in a lot of the bigger entrepreneurial accounts.
You certainly hear perfectionism spoken about here and there, however from the way some of these people speak about it, you know they have never experienced first hand, just what perfectionism FEELS like.
They have no idea how debilitating perfectionism can be. How a perfectionist mindset will stop you from taking action, all of the overthinking, the lack of action, the self-doubt and the extreme shame that we allow ourselves to feel when we don’t live up to our extremely high expectations.
So for this first episode I wanted to jump in to chat about a few of the things you might be experiencing if you’re a perfectionist, these are some of the mindset struggles you might be having, the thoughts you’re having, and I also wanted to remind you that if you are experiencing some of these things remember that you are not alone, there are plenty of us out there.
- People Pleasing.
So maybe that’s saying yes to the things you really want to say no to. Taking on work that you really don’t want to do, doing more work than you agreed to but you’ve been asked to do out of fear of letting anyone else down or putting someone else out.
It also includes saying no to the things that maybe you really want to say yes to out of the same fear.
This could be something like, maybe you’ve been asked to step up and do something bigger, go bolder, the client now doesn’t just want product photography, they want you to photograph them in the studio but you’re afraid you’re not good enough or you don’t have enough experience, even though you do, and so you’re saying no because you don’t want to let them down.
Or maybe you have a product based business and you don’t really like the sample but you tell the manufacturer that it’s fine because you don’t want to be a bother, or maybe you asked a graphic design to create something for you but you’re not happy with it and you’ve already made a few changes and now you’re feeling like you’re a massive bother to make another change.
People pleasing is a really hard one, of course we want those around us to be happy and pleased with our work, but if you’re constantly people pleasing you can begin to feel that your undervaluing yourself, or that you’re being taken advantage of and over time it can really start to build up a lot of resentment inside of you that you can end up passively taking out on others.
You also have to remember that not everyone thinks the same way as you, so if you’ve agreed to a job with someone and you’ve given them a price, now they’re coming back and saying can you please also do this, thinking the worst she can say is no or maybe she’ll want to charge me extra, and then you agree to it, no additional price and you seem pretty happy to do it, then she thinks ‘OK cool, it’s obviously not that big a deal’ and then it just continues like that and because it wasn’t a big deal last time and there were no extra charges, it won’t be an issue next time.
It’s really important for you to set clear boundaries around what you do and what you charge, remember you are running a business, a business you started, that has your vision and dream behind it, the last thing you want is to begin to resent your clients or your work, or to feel unappreciated, undervalued and taken advantage of.
- All or nothing mindset
This one is a big one and it’s also where ‘falling off the wagon’ comes in… So maybe you committed to posting to social media every day this week or writing a blog post per week or maybe it was a combination of tasks that you said you’d do, and then you missed a day, or two and then a few more days followed and we have that ‘well I didn’t do it yesterday or the day before, so what’s the point in doing it today’
We put all this pressure on ourselves to do everything just as we’d set out, the intentions were good, you had planned on following through and then something happened so you told yourself that you didn’t have time, or because it’s now 9pm and you should have had your post published by 6, there’s no point in doing it now.
An all-or-nothing thinking also really allows us to create impossible or extreme expectations for ourselves, it’s black and white, there is no grey or inbetween, you either go all in and you doing extremely well, or you don’t bother at all.
A lot of the time we fail to see imperfect action is better than no action at all, at least if we’re constantly taking imperfect action we’re still moving forward, that momentum is still there and it’s building, that imperfect action is also doing wonders for your confidence and for your business that you might not be able to see right now, but a few weeks or month down the track, the fact that the kept going (even though maybe you kept ‘falling off the wagon’ the fact that you just kept getting up and going again did more for you than you were able to appreciate in that moment.
Overthinking is another REALLY big one! We want to do things extremely well, we want to do them what we believe is the ‘right’ way. So we start planning and thinking, and analysing, and thinking some more, and just when we think we’re ready, we realise there is something else we maybe hadn’t considered, and so we start planning some more, and we just go around in loops.
All this thinking just stops us from taking action because we don’t want to just make any decision, we want to make the right decision, which then can often lead to no decision which of course is a decision in itself, and the cycle just continues.
We’re all up in our own head, we question everything we think or do, it could be something like you’re instagram captions.
Have you ever started writing something only to then delete a portion and rewrite it, give it a read, make a few changes, think about it some more, make a few more changes - all to the point where it’s taken you FAR longer than it should have and you’re still not sure you’re happy with is, so maybe you don’t even bother sharing it because you don’t want anyone to think you’re an incompitent fool.
So based off this example, if you’re running a business in a particular area, you no doubt already know more than most people do, you’re already the expert and there will always be more to learn. You need to be looking at how long you SHOULD be spending on these things that you’re overthinking, and looking at how much time you actually are.
Overthinking can be a real source of stress and anxiety and that’s definitely not something you want hanging over you each and every single day. Sometimes you just have to be happy with what you’ve created, make a snap decision and go with whatever you gut is telling you and just see what happens - you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.
- You procrastinate - but you’re always BUSY
Perfections love to feel busy and productive, always. You might find you have trouble switching off and you’re always thinking about your business even when you’re supposed to be taking time off.
And when we are supposed to be working, we find ourselves procrastinating, but we often do this by busiing ourselves with something else - this is even more so true, when it comes to doing something that we feel we’re not good at, or we don’t have a lot of experience in, something that challenges us and forces us to grow. Perfectionists get easily discouraged it they don’t pick up something new instantly and easily - they don’t always like to be seen as ‘trying’ and often see it as a negative.
So you might find yourself leaving behind the needle moving tasks and busying yourself with meaniale tasks, things that you feel super comfortable doing so when you don’t get around to that thing, the one you’re procrastinating on you can say that you didn’t get to it because you were busy doing something else, it wasn’t a focus for you and you keep it on the list because you know it’s something that you really want to do.
I did this with this podcast, I had every intention with releasing this back in April or May 2020, I even bought the mic I am not using in April. I started recording the first episode, but the podcast didn’t have a name, I kept tripping over my words, and then I talked myself into ‘who’s going to listen anyway’ I have no idea what I am doing and then I didn’t have time, it wasn’t a focus - all of that…
And then one day late last year I just had a huge “that’s it’ moment, I’m going to do this, and I put a goal into my timeline using T.I.ME techniques, set it for January 15 and finally I made it happen.
- You don’t really set goals - and if you do, you might find that you really don’t work towards them.
Like most people, perfectionists love the intention that goes into setting goals, however if a Perfectionist is unable to reach that goal or feels like they won’t they will often become very disheartened by that unmet goal.
They can make it mean something about them and their ability - so to avoid that feeling of shame they might either give up on their goal early or fail ahead of time - so they can say they didn’t reach the goal because the didn’t try - we’d rather give up, than fail and we’d rather give up than to have seen be trying really hard, only to not reach the goal.
One of the the difference between perfectionists and high achievers is their attitude towards goal setting, while a high achiever might celebrate the journey, be really proud of what they did achieve what they learnt and who they became while chasing that goal, perfectionists have a way of focusing on the destination or the end result and forgetting about everything else - the only focus is the unmet goal and what they make they mean about them.
I can confirm I have avoided setting goals or my goals have been very loose and unspecific which has meant there was really nothing I could fail.
So you might set yourself a goal, something that sounds specific but isn’t really - such as ‘I want to be booked out in my business’ and then you find yourself so insanely busy - but you don’t really consider yourself booked out because you’re not making anywhere near the money that you think you want to make, but you never put an income goal in, and now you have clients but you’re stressed, you’re overwhelmed you’re unfulfilled and you’re always busy - and it’s not what you thought it would be but you never really sat down to work out exactly what you want and what that would really look like for you.
It’s also a great idea to set yourself some really big scary goals and to really not be afraid to set a goal that so big you realistically don’t have any chance of making it this year, so for example, I want to make $500k - so while you (or I) might not be on track to making that income for the year, just having that there, as something you are working towards encourages you to look for new or different opportunities, it encourages growth, it asks you to make decisions, take action and show up as your next level self - so what does that next level version of you - the one that made $500k this year, look like, what do they do daily, weekly, monthly.
Ok, so we might leave it there for today!
I really hope this helped you better understand how perfectionism might be present for you in your business, and how it might be holding you back.
If you have any questions or anything you’d like to discuss please find me over on instagram, my handle is @kristypask
Please feel free to shoot me a DM or an email, I am always open for a chat.
And of course if there is anything in particular that you would like me to cover or share in upcoming episodes of the podcast please let me know, I want to make sure you are getting the most value out of this as possible and really want to help you overcome your perfectionism so you can continue to build the business of your dreams.
Chat to you next week.
Links and resources:
Learn more about my 12 week, 1:1 coaching program: The Holistic Marketing Method
Connect with me on Instagram: @kristypask
Book in a 1:1 single session with me here.