Personal Growth

How to Overcome Perfectionism for Entrepreneurs

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Perfectionism can be a tough challenge for you as an entrepreneur. You aim for the best, but sometimes, aiming too high can hold you back. While it’s good to want excellence, being trapped by perfectionism is a different story.

In this article, we’ll look closely at the problems that perfectionism brings. Then, I’ll provide you some tips to help you break free from it.

The Dangers of Perfectionism to Entrepreneurs

how to overcome perfectionism - a woman struggling to figure out the best design for the mobile app

Perfectionism may sound fancy. It may feel like a badge of honor. In reality, however, it can block your path to success and hold you back from what you can be and do.

Perfectionism can breed procrastination. You wait for the right moment or idea, but waiting for too long can lead to missed opportunities.

Then there’s the fear of failure. Any small mistake feels like a huge setback if you’re always chasing perfection. This can stop you from taking risks and trying new things. However, these two are essential for your growth. 

Lastly, perfectionists tend to believe that they can do everything. So, if you’re like this, you might take up too many tasks and become overwhelmed in getting started.

5 Effective Steps in Overcoming Perfectionism

The good news is that there are ways to adjust your mindset and escape from being a perfectionist. Let’s go over a few of them: 

1. Embrace the 80/20 Rule 

You might have heard of the 80/20 rule, or as some call it, the Pareto Principle. In simple terms, it means most of your results, about 80%, come from just 20% of your efforts.

Think about it. A small portion of what you do brings the most value. So, why spend hours perfecting every tiny detail?

Let’s say you run an online store. Instead of spending hours choosing the perfect font for your website, you must focus on the top-selling products and marketing strategies. Those will likely bring in 80% of your profits, while the font might affect just a fraction of the user experience.

This rule is gold in beating your perfectionistic tendencies. If you’ve spent a short time on a task and made substantial progress, that’s a win!

To ensure you practice it, ask yourself: “Am I focusing on the 20% that brings 80% of the results?” If not, it might be time to redirect your energy.

2. Set Small Achievable Milestones

While having big dreams and ambitious goals are never a bad thing, it’s essential to translate those grand visions into actionable steps. Perfectionism can often blur the line between aspirational goals and what’s immediately achievable, causing unnecessary stress and strain. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim high. Instead, break down those big goals into manageable milestones.

So, how do you set small achievable goals? Begin by understanding your capabilities and limits. Assess your resources, both time and materials. 

Once you can visualize or map out your path, segment your larger goals into smaller tasks that you can tackle daily or weekly. This way, you build confidence and momentum without feeling overwhelmed.

Remember, your journey as an entrepreneur isn’t about being perfect. It’s about progress, learning, and growing. Set expectations that empower you, not ones that pull you down.

3. Practice Self-Compassion 

It’s easy for us to be our worst critic. While it’s crucial to recognize areas for improvement, it’s equally important to be kind to ourselves. 

You have to realize that making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re failing. In fact, every misstep is a learning opportunity and a stepping stone to your growth. Being too hard on yourself can only drain your energy and enthusiasm. 

Take time to make a conscious effort and practice positive self-talk. When you face setbacks, acknowledge what went wrong, take any accountability that needs to be taken, learn the lessons that need to be learned, and carry on. 

There is no need to beat yourself up over it. Remind yourself of past successes. Congratulate yourself for the effort you’ve put in and give yourself credit for not giving up.

Here are some simple techniques to boost self-compassion and improve your self-esteem:

  • Start each day by listing three things you’re proud of.
  • When faced with constructive criticism, ask: “What can I learn from this?”
  • Speak to yourself as you would to a dear friend.

By embracing self-compassion as your trait, you give yourself the love and support to bounce back stronger, no matter what the challenge is.

4. Set a Strict Deadline 

One solution that can help you overcome perfectionism is the power of deadlines. Having a clear end date pushes you to get things done. Without it, you might find yourself lost in endless tweaks and adjustments. Deadlines help you prioritize and prevent you from getting stuck on trivial things.

Why do deadlines work? According to The Guardian, while our brains might enjoy dilly-dallying, they’re also wired to avoid unpleasant situations. As a deadline approaches, your mind switches gears, adopting a “let’s wrap this up” mindset.

So, if you’re a recovering perfectionist, set firm deadlines instead of aiming to finish your task perfectly. Embrace the deadline, and watch your productivity soar.

5. Limit Revision Time

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a loop of revising the same task repeatedly? It’s a common trap for everyone. But here’s the thing. Endless tweaks come with diminishing returns. After a while, your edits might not improve the project, but could even detract you from its original value or purpose. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revise your work anymore. But you have to find the balance between quality and productivity.

First, set a maximum number of revisions. Two to three is great, but no more than that. You can also try adding time limits for each task.

Next, trust your instincts. Our first ideas are often the best. So, before you dive into changes, take a step back and evaluate. Ask yourself if the modification is genuinely beneficial or just a product of overthinking.

Finally, gather feedback from others if you’re unsure. Sometimes, an external perspective can clarify and highlight areas that need attention.

Celebrate Your Progress and Overcome Perfectionism

Instead of trying to achieve perfection, find joy in your progress. Every step forward is a victory, fueling your journey and brightening your entrepreneurial spirit.

Remember, small wins are the building blocks of massive success. They boost your morale, keeping the flame of motivation burning brightly. So, throw a little celebration for your progress, no matter how small it seems!

Let’s recap the best ways to overcome perfectionism:

  • Zero in on the golden 20% that delivers 80% of your results.
  • Be realistic. 
  • Show yourself some love. 
  • Deadlines are your buddies. 
  • Set limits to your revisions.

Let’s Hear Your Thoughts

What do you think is the best way to beat perfectionism? Let us know in the comments. 

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