Monday, July 7, 2008

Dealing with Perfectionists

Many of the people I coach are perfectionists and some coaches are too. This can be problematic! I don't meant that we shouldn't strive to get things as right as we can I mean that the fear of getting something wrong can freeze your progress. I hardly ever 'advise' people when I am coaching. But if the situation demands it then there are messages I try to get across to my clients. Here are five strategies by Derek Gehl I use with clients to overcome their perfectionist impulses:

Strategy #1: Be realistic about what you can achieve

Many perfectionists set themselves impossible deadlines, or take on tasks they can't reasonably hope to complete on their own.

Then, when they inevitably fail, they beat themselves up for not being perfect, which just makes them procrastinate further, or be even MORE obsessive with the next task.

So take a long, hard look at what you want to accomplish during any given day. Ask yourself if your goal is reasonable and realistic. Is it something somebody else would be able to accomplish?

If the answer is no, then break the goal into smaller "chunks," and focus on completing one small piece at a time.

Strategy #2: Set strict time limits for each of your projects

A great technique for heading off the endless wasted hours working on trivial things is to give yourself a limited amount of time to complete any given task.

Decide how much you want to spend on a certain project, and then STICK to those limits. Be firm!

This will keep you from burning up an entire day hunting for that "perfect" image you want to add to your site, when you could have been doing something with that time to complete tasks that would add considerably more value to your business.

Strategy #3: Think of failure as a learning experience

It's inevitable: some of the things you try with your site simply won't work!

So instead of thinking about a sales pitch that didn't convert the way you wanted it to as a sign that you're a failure , look at the failure as the perfect opportunity to understand your market better.

By evaluating why it didn't work, you'll gain a better understanding of your audience, which will help you in many other aspects of your business as well.

Strategy #4: Celebrate your successes

When you're a perfectionist, it's easy to focus on the fact that you haven't yet achieved some of the goals you set for yourself, which can feed into your fear of failure.

So, rather than taking a negative view of what's NOT done yet, take some time to look at all of the smaller things that you HAVE accomplished while working toward your goals.

Remember that it's not just the end goal that matters. The smaller milestones you complete along the way are successes in themselves.

Strategy #5: Don't be afraid to admit you need help

Believe me, YOU (or the client) are the only person who expects you to have all the answers!

I know from personal experience that taking advice and direction for your Internet business from people who have already figured it out, is a HUGE advantage...

... and NOT a sign that you're a failure!

By recognizing that YOU are your biggest critic, and understanding that 'good enough' is BETTER than perfect, you'll be well on your way to a stable, successful -- and more importantly -- HEALTHY and HAPPY business!

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