Perfection Doesn’t Exist (and Will Keep You Stuck)

Ep: 27

“Believing you have to make everything perfect and avoid mistakes can stop you from making a bigger impact in your life.” –Blake Schofield (3:23-3:40)

Some people wear perfectionism like a badge of honor and credit this trait as the reason they’re successful. Others see perfectionism as a kind of scarlet letter, thinking it’s just who they are and something they can’t change.  However, thinking you can be perfect and avoid poor choices often stops us from creating the impact we want in our lives.

When you realize that perfectionism is a choice you can shift your perspective and behaviors to work for you instead of against you.

“Perfectionism works against you. It’s not the reason that you’re successful. It’s actually stopping you from achieving more success and joy in your life.” – Blake Schofield (5:40-5:50)

How Perfectionism Can Show Up for You 

There are different ways that perfectionism shows up for people. Socially prescribed perfectionism is a result of feeling that others are judging you. This can cause us to strive for perfection as a way to get approval from other people. Self-oriented perfectionism occurs when you set unrealistic expectations for yourself. Some people may punish themselves for things they did or didn’t do.

You can identify perfectionism by looking for telltale signs including being overly critical of yourself and others. The fear of failure can also be an indication that perfectionism might be holding you back. You may have strong negative reactions when things don’t go as planned or not feel that you’re good enough despite your obvious success.

Changing the Pattern of Perfectionism

  1. Shifting Your Perspective

Shifting your perspective of success is the first step to overcoming perfectionism. We’re taught that success is a result of doing the right things to get the solutions we want. But real success comes through learning, which comes from making mistakes.

You either win or you learn. Failure is a myth.

  1. Question Your Beliefs and Stories

The beliefs and stories we tell ourselves determine our experience of life. Are the stories you’re telling yourself true? Daily journaling and other exercises can help sort through stories and create more awareness around them.

  1. Identify the Root Cause of Your Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are almost always rooted in childhood experiences. We become free from perfectionism when we identify the root cause of the stories we tell ourselves and reframe them to create a new, more positive belief system.

“You can’t just fix the surface level stuff. You have to get at the root of why things are challenging and what you need to do to create the freedom and fulfillment you want.” – Blake Schofield (22:30-22:46)

Working with a coach is one of the best ways to overcome the perfectionism trap. It can be difficult to explore your stories and their root causes on your own. Having an outside perspective helps you achieve the results you want more efficiently and with greater clarity and insight. We all have a limited perspective of ourselves. Having a coach who can guide us helps us identify where those limitations are so we can overcome them. You learn to trust your inner voice and reconnect with yourself.

Perfectionism isn’t something to be celebrated or glorified. It can stop you from making the impact you want in your work or family. Perfectionism is a choice, and you have the choice each day to change your beliefs and your habits. When you do, you’ll find the freedom, peace of mind, and joy that you never realized were missing.


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