So often we hear people talk about having the goal of “Living my best life”. While that is certainly a wonderful goal to shoot for, many of us confuse that with living the PERFECT life.
You have to admit, sometimes we get hung up on all the details, trying to make sure everything is just right. We tell ourselves it has to be the right time or the best circumstances before we’re ready to try something new or make a change. We let perfectionism hold us back.
I recently met with a new client that I’m coaching. She wants to venture off into a new side hustle based on a hobby that she’s really passionate about. During our talk, I said to her… “Why now? What made you finally decide to call me for assistance?” She said, “I was waiting until I had all the pieces in order. I didn’t feel like I was ready before now.” And when I asked her how long she had been putting those pieces together, she told me she had been working on and off for FIVE YEARS. Although this scenario is business related. I find the similar answers from the clients who only want life coaching. They too are waiting for all the stars to align before they start reaching for new goals and doing things that will make them happy.
If you feel you fall into this trap, keep reading and learn how you can live your best life without waiting for it to be perfect.
Consider What’s at Stake
First, when you get caught up in feeling like things have to be just right, take a minute to consider the stakes. What will you miss out on if you wait until things are perfect? What opportunity are you giving up? Often, this simple reflection will be enough to push you toward going after your goal, rather than waiting for a better time.
Know It’s Not All or Nothing
The all or nothing trap is one that is common. This is the belief that you have to have all the resources in place or know everything there is to know before taking on a task. This line of thinking is false. It’s simply a way of getting caught up in the cycle of perfectionism and remaining in place. Take baby steps and give it a try even if you don’t have everything in place. Sometimes things come together on their own.
Change Your Self-Talk
If perfectionism is holding you back from living your best life, chances are good that you’re probably sending yourself some negative messages. Listen to what your inner critic is saying to you the next time you decide that you shouldn’t do something and then see if you can’t turn that message around. If you hear yourself saying that you’ll never get the job promotion because you’re not qualified, try giving yourself some realistic reasons why you might just have what it takes and what you have to offer. Refuting negative self-talk can go a long way to stopping perfectionism in its tracks.
Know When to Accept Good Enough
Finally, try just accepting good enough and see what happens. The next time you want to do something different or step out of your comfort zone, but you don’t think you’re ready, just go for it. Pay attention to how you feel and what it’s like to push past those feelings. Note the end result. Maybe things won’t turn out perfectly, but you may discover they end up being worthwhile anyway.
Ask for help
I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but my book, Unlock Your Potential is a pretty good resource if you are feeling stuck and not sure how to start moving forward again. The book and the workbook will help you sort things out.
Keep these steps in mind the next time your inner perfectionist tries to sabotage you and keep you from living your best life. You may be surprised by the results.
Here’s to giving it a go… Even if it’s not perfect.