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Is Perfectionism Holding You Back as a Leader?

by Jul 21, 2022Small Business Leaders

Are you an over-achiever or a perfectionist? The difference may surprise you. Leaders who are over-achievers aim high and hit their mark. They succeed because they are motivated to do their best in everything. Perfectionists want to achieve, but fear of failure stops them. It paralyzes them and diminishes their self-esteem. Does this sound like you? There is nothing wrong with aiming for perfection; however, it can hold you back more than you realize. It’s possible to let go of your need for perfectionism and see yourself in the achiever category.

over-achiever or a perfectionist

The Effects of Perfectionism in Your Role as a Leader

Perfectionism isn’t a leadership trait. Good leadership requires attention to detail and a commitment to quality but doesn’t require perfection. It can start with the goals you set for yourselves, your organization, and others. Are they realistic? You set standards for your team, but no one is perfect. Your people have different skills and strengths. If you expect your team to be perfect, you will experience adverse effects, including demoralizing people, creating an unhappy team, and potential staff turnover.

Many leaders don’t even realize they are perfectionists. It can be a blind spot when you look at yourself in the mirror. If you feel like you have blind spots consider getting a coach. In a coaching session, rapid transformation is possible. Join me for a free discovery call to explore these and other issues.

Are you an over-achiever or a perfectionist, and how you can focus on eliminating perfectionism in your role as a leader

Stop letting your need for perfection hamper your happiness and reach your goals. Here are seven tips to get you started making a mindset shift: 

  1. Admit You Are a Perfectionist (to yourself): Pay attention to your thoughts and tendencies. Look for patterns that indicate your perfectionistic ways. Consider the self-talk you use. When you work on controlling your mindset, it can give you an edge on overcoming your preferences. 

  2. Look for the Positives: It is easy to fixate on the negatives when nothing is perfect. You will provide more structure and guidance to those who report to you as a leader. It won’t be easy to focus on positive self-talk, but it will take you miles down the path to your goals.

  3. Remember that You Will Make Mistakes: Mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow as a person. Enjoy the process and accept that mistakes are part of it. You will become tough on the challenges but more supportive of yourself and your people.
  1. Reconsider Your Goals: Set goals that are realistic and that can be achieved. Your natural tendency is probably to set your goals too high, using impossible standards. Reduce your stress and increase your chance of success by setting realistic goals. In essence, you set yourself up for failure. 

  2. Learn How to Receive Feedback: Perfectionists generally dislike receiving feedback because they suffer from low self-esteem. You learn to do better when receiving constructive feedback and not taking it personally. Your self-esteem increases as you become more confident in your approach.
  1. Lower Your Standards: You don’t need to go to the far extreme and have no standards. But it’s helpful to reduce the pressure on yourself by lowering your expectations. 

  2. Stop Procrastinating: As a perfectionist, you are probably a procrastinator. Instead of giving yourself an excuse to slack off and stress yourself more, learn to work ahead and be proactive. It will give you more time to complete tasks to the best possible standards. 

It’s okay to give yourself full permission to no longer be perfect. Letting go of your perfectionism reduces stress and allows you to grow and learn new things to achieve your dreams. You will thank yourself later. 

Check out our blog post on “3 ways to become a leader people follow” also, watch my video on the “#1 stumbling block in leadership.

About Henry:
Henry is a Leadership Coach and Mentor. He helps Owners and Executive Leaders develop their teams to grow their business so they can have more time, more results and more money. To learn more, Henry offers a FREE discovery call  check out the details on this website.