how do you know if you're a perfectionist, or just have high standards?
Many of my life coaching clients ask me:
How do I know if I'm being a perfectionist, or if I just have really high standards?
It's important to know the difference, because perfectionism holds you back, but excellence propels you forward (click to tweet!)
Perfectionism does not feel good.
It feels like you're beating yourself up.
It feels like you're never going to get there.
It feels like putting in looooong hours and no satisfaction.
The sneak attack of perfectionism is that we tend to assign it as a personality trait:
"I'm a perfectionist".
Which translates into: "I'm never good enough, not even for myself".
High standards, AKA excellence, feels empowering.
Excellence feels like you're proud of what you've done.
If you have high standards, it doesn't matter if you're sweeping the floor or designing a high end coaching package -
There's a beginning, and there's an end.
And at the end, you look around, feel satisfied and proud, and then put it out there in the world.
PERFECTIONISM VERSUS EXCELLENCE
The perfectionist will never finish the thing.
Excellence has a beginning and an end.
The perfectionist is never, ever satisfied.
Excellence experiences pride and joy.
The perfectionist never puts their work into the world.
Excellence finishes the work, feels proud, and releases it.
the ultimate perfectionism test
If you have something that you're not releasing into the world - a wedding invitation, a business project, a resume - the Perfectionist Gremlin might be at work.
Here's the Ultimate Perfectionist Test:
1) Decide EXACTLY what you need to get this thing out there. What does "completed" mean? Get very specific about what needs to be done to release this thing into the world. This means being completely OBJECTIVE and leaving nothing SUBJECTIVE for the Perfectionist Gremlin to chew on.
Good Example: A completed teleclass script contains 30 minutes of content, 3 clear teaching points, a 5-minute bio introduction, and a 5-minute sales offer.
Bad example: A completed teleclass script means that it is all typed out and has valuable content.
2) Set a deadline. Make it a reasonable deadline, and make it soon. No more than a week for the sake of the Ultimate Perfectionist Test.
3) Make your deadline public. Maybe announcing it on Facebook works, but maybe emailing 1-3 accountability friends would work, too. No matter what, make sure someone besides YOU knows what you're supposed to do.
4) Get to work. You will know immediately if the Perfectionist is kicking in... because you'll start to procrastinate. The Perfectionist doesn't want to put ANYTHING out there for fear of criticism. Excellence wants material to work on.
5) If you don't get it done by the deadline, no excuses.... you're looking at the Perfectionist!
it really is that simple.
So, what have you been putting off that you're ready to tackle with EXCELLENCE on your side?
If you really want some tools for kicking inner critics to the curb, check out my free training series for life coaches!