This is the third post in a series on overcoming perfectionism. Before reading this post, please read this post first and this post second. Inspiration for this post has come from my own experiences and information from CCI (a great resource if you require more information!).
Take on change in bite size chunks
Chances are if you’re a perfectionist, it’s not just in one area of your life. For this reason, it will take a while to change and I recommend focusing on one area and one goal at a time. If you’re not a perfectionist, you’ll be thinking, ‘of course, you can’t change over night’.
Making changes – you may experience:
If you are a perfectionist, you’ll either be tempted to:
- list of numerous areas you want to change and whilst knowing you should start one at a time, you’re going to attempt them all because they aren’t things that are actually that hard to do; or
- Know the areas you want to change in but be so overwhelmed at how big it is and how likely you are to fail, that you will put off making a change until you have a more suited (aka perfect) time to do it.
The result of that reaction
Neither leaves you feeling good about yourself. Take on a) and it won’t be long before you fail. It’s not that I am pessimist, far from it actually. I just know (from experience) that it takes time to change habits that have been with you a lifetime. Doing it all at once will wear you down, stress you out and leave you frustrated and upset that you were unable to make a change. Take on b) and it’s unlikely you’ll find the perfect time; or if you do, it is likely that you’ll fail for the same reason as noted for a).
So perfectionists, are we doomed to failure?
Hell, no! We are strong and we can do it but we just need to take it a little more like the turtle rather than the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. If you’ve been a hare your whole life, it’s hard to switch to a turtle. So just pick one small area to ‘be a turtle’ in.
Choose an area to work on
Thinking back to Part A last week, where your homework was to pick an area that you want to work on. It could be something like:
- Delegating work;
- Allowing your diet to relax and treating yourself once in a while (and being ok with it!);
- Studying methods – focus on main points;
- Being content with a shorter training sessions some days;
- Not needing to clean the house until its perfect if someone is coming over;
- When making a new purchase, buying the one you see first and like rather than needing to look everywhere to ensure you have the best one.
Whatever behaviour it is, print out this sheet (downloadable PDF here) and complete it or copy and paste the following into the comments below so we can hold one another to accountability:
- Behaviour to change:
- Small steps towards meeting goal (to avoid too much anxiety):
If you fail and get anxious, how you are going to try that step again. For example: I would give myself a day to recoup and then start again the next day, but at the previous step I have already completed. Doing something that I know I can do, will help be confident in my abilities and assist in moving to the next step. If that next step is still too distressing, then create a mini lead-up goal.
Join the exclusive EPW FB Group for extra support!
If you want to join the exclusive EPW Facebook Group I’ve set up, we can support each other in our plans by sharing our plans and giving updates on how we are going. I’ll also be using this group for other exciting EPW stuff later (NB: this is different to the EPW FB Page which you may already follow.) So even if you’re not a perfectionist – this group is still for you. Join the group here.