How to Overcome Perfectionism as You Aim for Your Goals

How do you overcome perfectionism as you work toward reaching your stretch goals? Most of the time, people hide under the blanket of perfectionism as an excuse to be unproductive. Perfectionism becomes the guard – we aim for it so we can never truly fail and we can play it safe. Because we aim for perfectionism, we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable to possible failure.

In this article, I’ll list down practical tips on how to deal and overcome perfectionism and ultimately reach our full potential. Want to watch or listen instead? Head down to the bottom of this page and click the play button!

What really is “Perfectionism”?

The dictionary defines “perfectionism” as refusal to accept any standard short of perfection. I want to ask you – is there anything in our lives or career that is perfect?

Perfect does not exist. When we strive for perfection, it usually paralyzes us. Perfect is one of the best excuses to not put something out – whether it’s to offer a new product/service, launch an online course, publish a book, etc etc!

Perfectionism is something that is so much deeper within ourselves. It’s something we need to unpack to become more productive and fulfilled. Aiming for perfectionism is a bigger emotional issue rather than a practical issue.

For instance, I once built this online program for helping somebody increase their revenue when their business seems to be failing. I finished the program, but I let it sit on my computer thinking that it’s not good enough – even though it was the same process that helped me double my income.

With stretch goals, especially those that involve creative work, we have to be willing to adjust – we can’t wait until our outputs reach a perfect standard. Why? Because perfect does not exist, and we’d just be wasting time waiting and waiting – until we won’t have the time to share our work.

3 Practical Tips to Deal with Perfectionism

Changing our “perfectionist” mindset can be tough, but it’s doable as long as we’re committed to it. With that, here are three tips to deal and overcome perfectionism you can start with:

#1 Determine what defines done.

As you start a goal, determine – what defines done? With this you have a clear distinction when you actually reach the goal. If you decide from the beginning what your goal looks like when you reach it, then you’ll know the exact point when you’re done and it’s time to get some feedback and do the iterations.

For instance, if your goal is to create an online program you have to define what’s done. Once you’re finished, you have to get it out. Publish it and offer it to the market because you’ll be needing feedback.

Perfect doesn’t exist because there is always something to improve.

#2 Have a trusted set of eyes.

You need somebody who will tell you the truth – people who will critique your work objectively. Use their feedback to improve your work.

“Trusted” is the keyword here. For sure you have friends who are people-pleasers – those who would tell you what you want to hear. While they’re not bad friends, their input is barely valid.

Have someone whom you know will give you unbiased feedback that will help you move forward.

#3 Look at your goals objectively.

Ask yourself, “Am I really looking to achieve something that’s reasonable or am I pushing a little too hard on a standard that does not really exist?”

Being aware of where you are and what you can realistically achieve will enable you to look at your goal objectively. Once you break down your goals into smaller tasks and practical milestones, you can enable a solution-activated process when you hit roadblocks or obstacles.

Don’t let “perfectionism” be your guard

Most of the time, we aim for perfectionism so we can play it safe and never fail in anything we do. However, when we become “perfectionists”, we never really work towards our goal and the opportunity to reach our full potential becomes lost – because we never really finish anything.

We have to change our mindset that perfect does not exist. You have to be aware that when you fail, what we did – the tasks, the activity, the business – failed, not YOU.

So, remove the word “perfect” from your life, start creating and getting your work out there!

If you want to hear me talk about goals and failures, don’t hesitate to send me a message!

Allison Graham headshot smiling leaning against a grey wall, blue cardigan and white top

Welcome! I'm Allison Graham

Let’s face it – life is tough enough without having behaviour patterns that make life harder than it needs to be! 

That’s why I’m obsessed with finding ways to make the human experience easier by offering strategies for problem solving, dealing with chronic pain, leveraging empowering stress, and stopping patterns that create destructive stress. 

I hope you find huge value in my content. To go deeper please check out my online courses, coaching, and keynote speeches