YOUR GOAL as a Business Leader? Focus on Progress, NOT Perfection
In your entrepreneurial business, do the pressures, projects, or people, often leave you feeling fear-ridden, stressed-out, imperfect and exhausted? Honestly, we’ve all been there, right? (Emotions of self-protection emerge: fear, failure, regret, shame, anger, anxiety, etc.)
I know I have been there more times than I care to admit.
However, you may be one who is stuck in a “be perfect” cycle, and you judge yourself too harshly when you fall short of the ideal mark you’ve set.
Did you know that unrealistic expectations and behaviors frequently block business progress? They are more exhausting and time-consuming than trying again, learning something new, or redoing the work altogether.
Seeking to always be extraordinary, and not accepting anything less of yourself self-sabotages new learning and development. There’s no space for achievement and satisfaction in your work when emotional, mental, and physical energy is zapped by repeated self-criticism.
Are you aware that you are one who is stuck in a perfectionistic mindset?
If so, this causes you to stress over what you don’t achieve, blinding you to what you do really well. Ruminating where you fall short takes up time and space; it consumes mental and emotional space that could be used productively.
CHANGE moments of self-criticism and judgement by learning to:
PAUSE rather than allowing a knee-jerk reaction.
BREATHE (conscious, deep breathing).
This allows time to CHOOSE how you respond (towards yourself and others).
UNDERSTAND where you end and others begin. Don’t over function! Work as a team, and trust other people to take responsibility for their roles and the part they play. Own yours; allow others to do the same.
ANCHOR thoughts and actions to how you want to show up, participate and lead; anchors are based on your business goals, priorities, purpose, and personal values.
Keep your sights on big BUSINESS GOALS, and allow them to pull you forward to successful outcomes and a productive future.
When you learn to accept your short-falls and simultaneously acknowledge your progress, you’ve opened the door to greater self-leadership and job contentment.
Increase your awareness about the perfection mindset that consumes both mind and body with uncomfortable, unsettled, even frantic emotions. Similar to a panic stricken seal fleeing from an orca whale—humans in this state seek a solid place to land, to escape, and feel safe.
But imagine the opposite; those moments in time when a seal can just go with the flow, ride on top of the waves, confidently relaxing in the ever-changing ocean currents—satisfied and safe.
If the frantic seal scenario sounds all too familiar, extend COMPASSION to yourself (e.g. kindness, grace, patience, etc.). Silence self-talk that says, “I should be better,” “If only I was more organized,” and stop yourself when you say, “I should have… or could have… or would have…!” They are red flags of worn out perfectionistic thinking patterns.
Take what Brene Brown says to heart, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
The fact is, you (and me) are human and not perfect. Read that twice!
Give yourself a break and have more realistic expectations. Think about how Webster defines PERFECTION: freedom from fault or defect; flawlessness, state of being saintly; an unsurpassable degree of accuracy. Seriously, who meets those standards even most of the time? Certainly not me, nor you!
For over-thinking humans, with a myriad of life experiences that form habits, reactions and mindsets, it takes awareness and commitment to begin to change the built-in self-protection that does not serve you well in business (or personally). Know the triggers that leave you feeling like you’re swimming for your life. Blog coming soon… “Know Your Triggers to Uplevel Your Performance”
Don’t beat yourself up for not being “perfect.” Instead, focus on the personal progress you are making against the limiting, ingrained, self-protective behaviors that previously made you anxious or nixed communications and workplace effectiveness.
Flip the script inside your head. Make new choices that help you successfully navigate through your workday and life—differently! If you make a mistake, or feel you fall short, ask, “What can I learn from this?” Extend compassion to yourself.
It’s been said, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear of making a mistake, looking foolish or feeling embarrassed. It’s a fear of not living up to others expectations—fear of failure, and sometimes even fear of success.
The learning from all this is to strive to recognize and avoid behaviors that are the result of a hard-wired adrenaline rush of self-protection (fight or flight, please or freeze)—and emotionally reactive behaviors that dominate and hinder you, both professionally and personally.
Awareness is the first step. As you move forward, consistently become the person and business leader who relies on well thought-out business choices, belief in personal development, realistic expectations, and workable solutions.
Now, with discipline and trust in yourself, where it’s needed, step out and learn how to do differently. With it comes greater compassion for yourself and others, and this definitely increases your effectiveness as a business leader.
Remember, go for personal progress—not perfection!
Annie and the Leading Edge Team
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30-Day Self-Leadership Journal #2
Power of Agreement
What A+ Leaders do differently to generate extraordinary results.
30-Day Self-Leadership Journal #1
How to be a thriving ‘A+’ Leader in the fast paced,
ever-changing landscape of business today.