There are so many misconceptions about perfectionism that most perfectionists don’t even realise they are one.
As an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance that the only reason you’re not being productive and succeeding at the level you want is because your perfectionist mindset is working against you. In this episode, I share what perfectionism really is, what it means for your business and how to get your perfectionist mindset on your side.
Find the full episode transcript and show notes at samlaurabrown.com/episode396.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- What perfectionism really is and why being a perfectionist isn’t a bad thing
- The 5 surprising ways your perfectionism is affecting your business
- Why I didn’t realise I was a perfectionist until I started my business
- The reason that most advice doesn’t work for perfectionists
Featured In The Episode:
- Join the waitlist for Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (PGSD) – samlaurabrown.com/pgsd
- Sign up for daily Perfectionist Power-Ups – samlaurabrown.com/power
- Follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject
Announcement: PGSD will open for enrollment on 12 June 2023 (for one week only)
If you feel behind on your $100k goal, it’s just because nobody’s taught you the different productivity rules that apply to perfectionists.
To make $100k you need to work smarter, not harder. And to do that you need to get your perfectionist mindset on your side.
If your week is filled with lost time even though you’re always busy working, it’s time to take control of your productivity. The process is simple – set your Growth Goal, plan properly with Power Planning and then strategically tweak your way to $100k.
My group coaching program Perfectionists Getting Shit Done (aka PGSD) is designed to get perfectionist entrepreneurs to $100k. The doors to PGSD will open on 12 June 2023 for one week only. To find out more about the program and be the first to know when the doors open, join the waitlist today: samlaurabrown.com/pgsd.
Listen To The Episode
Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts – just find Episode 396 of The Perfectionism Project Podcast!
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project. A podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the Perfectionist Getting Shit Done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business. You can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.
Hey, it’s Renae, Sam’s Marketing Manager. Now before this episode begins, we have an update for you. And we want you to be the first to know about an exciting new project that’s been happening we’ve been working on behind the scenes, and it’s about to be launched to you all for free. So a bit of background behind all this, if you didn’t know, Sam’s actually been publishing podcast episodes about perfectionism since 2017.
And as I’m sure we all do know, Sam is just able to put words to things that we’re feeling right. She just has the language to describe the experience we’re going through and help us not feel so alone. This really is Sam’s genius aren’t so much sorry. She’s dedicated her whole business to help perfectionist entrepreneurs get out of their own way and achieve their 100k year goals and beyond. And as Sam has said many many times, if she knew about her perfectionism handbrake, from the beginning of starting her business, it wouldn’t have taken her six long years to be able to make that first $100,000.
And that’s exactly why it’s so important that you’re aware of how much perfectionism might be affecting your productivity and reaching your $100,000 business goal. So we are so excited to tell you and we want you to be the first to know that soon, you’ll be able to take the perfectionism quiz. Perfectionism is often counterproductive, and is what’s holding you back from achieving greatest success in your business. So over the last decade, Sam has discovered the five signs of perfectionism.
And this quiz is exactly what allow Sam to give you a personalized insight into what specific areas of perfectionism is limiting your productivity and success. So if you’ve ever heard of The Five Love Languages, it’s a bit like that. Now, this perfectionism quiz is going live very, very soon, Sam is actually going to record a whole episode on it as soon as it’s live. So keep an eye out for that. And also keep an eye out on your emails.
Because it will let you know there as well. Now for the episode you’re about to listen to. This was actually one of the first times Sam spoke about the five signs of perfectionism as a whole. Now the only thing that’s changed since Sam recorded this episode is you’ll hear Sam refer to the first sign of perfectionism as overwhelmed. But now Sam calls the first sign of perfectionism, overthinking, because overthinking is the action that we do that then leads to us feeling overwhelmed. So, other than that, it is such a good lesson this episode and I know you’re gonna get so much from it. And we cannot wait until you can get your hands on the quiz and take the quiz. So enjoy this episode.
Sam Laura Brown
Today we’re going to be talking about five signs that you’re a perfectionist, and what that means for your business. This is such an important topic to talk about, because there are so many entrepreneurs who are crippled by perfectionism, and more specifically, that perfectionism handbrake that they’ve had on who don’t even recognize that that’s a problem. And when we don’t recognize that perfectionism is playing a role in how we show up in our business and the success our business creates, we end up spending a lot of time focusing on solving problems that aren’t causing the issues we’re experiencing.
So for example, a lot of perfectionist when they don’t recognize that perfectionism is what is stopping their business from growing quickly. They spend their time learning all the new marketing strategies and thinking if I could just find the right marketing strategy, then I’ll feel confident that I’ll be able to put myself out there, then I’ll be able to get customers and clients and achieve all of my goals. But we want to have you been able to identify as perfectionist in an empowering way, so that it gives you language and understanding that can help you to get out of your own way and get shit down.
When we talk about perfectionism. We’re not saying that that’s a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing. Perfectionism is just a mindset. It’s when it’s misunderstood, that we think that perfectionism is a bad thing, and that if our perfectionist, we’re always going to be that way, when what’s really happening is that you have this perfectionist mindset. Again, I’m gonna be talking about the signs of that in a second. And when you’re in that mindset, and it’s working against you, it’s like driving a car with the handbrake on.
So no matter how good that car is, and how fast you’re trying to go, you’re never going to go out full speed, because you’ve got that handbrake on, I’m always so used to having this handbrake on. We think that we’re succeeding because the handbrake is on it becomes so comfortable, to be in our own way to be overthinking to be procrastinating, to be in an all or nothing mindset, burning out, to have the fear of judgment, that it feels uncomfortable to try and succeed without those things being there.
So you can release your perfectionism handbrake, the only reason you’re not getting shit done in your business is because no one has taught you how to release that perfectionism, handbrake, and PGSD is what will teach you how to do that. But we need to really understand what perfectionism really is. So again, it’s going to be empowering. We want to have you identifying, yes, I’m a perfectionist, and I just need to learn how to release this handbrake.
It’s not a bad thing that I’m a perfectionist. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to be in my own way. And there are strategies and tools I can learn to have me releasing this perfectionism handbrake and actually having my business reflect my potential. So let’s talk about perfectionism, broadly speaking for a moment, and then we’ll go into the five signs. So a lot of people, especially many that I’ve heard from. They come to me and they say, Holy crap, I didn’t even realize I was a perfectionist. Because I thought that perfectionist are perfect people, I thought I wasn’t perfect enough to be a perfectionist.
And we have this misconception that perfectionist are the people who actually manage to be perfect. Their neat, they’re organized, often has this idea that perfectionists are control freaks. And they actually manage to be perfect. And so when we are a perfectionist, and we have worked perfectionism really is those symptoms, which are procrastination, overwhelm, burnout, all or nothing fear of judgment. We think, Oh, I can’t possibly be a perfectionist. Because a perfect person doesn’t procrastinate. A perfect person doesn’t feel overwhelmed. They don’t burn out. They’re not all or nothing. They’re not scared of judgment.
But that’s not what perfectionism is. So what is it? Perfectionism is simply a strategy to avoid shame. I love Brene Brown, she’s a shame and vulnerability researcher. If you haven’t checked out her TED talks, definitely search for her on YouTube, but she has some incredible advice when it comes to shame and vulnerability, which is highly related to perfectionism. And she says that perfectionism is the belief that if I can just look perfect and do everything perfectly, then I can avoid shame, judgment, and blame.
Basically, if we can have everything be perfect and avoid imperfection, a lot of these signs of perfectionism about avoiding imperfection, then we wouldn’t have to feel ashamed we won’t have to feel unworthy of love. So that’s all it really is. Perfectionists are not perfect people, perfectionist are people who feel ashamed. They’re not perfect. And again, when we have this perfectionist mindset, and it’s working against us, which happens when we follow advice, it doesn’t actually work for perfectionist and a lot of advice out there. Most advice out there does not work for a perfectionist.
Which is why I started this podcast why I created PGSD because so much advice out there doesn’t work for a perfectionist and is unknowingly turning this perfectionism handbrake on. And the only reason you’ve been getting in your own way you haven’t been getting shit done, the only reason you’ve been falling off the wagon and scared to put yourself out there. And your business doesn’t reflect how much potential you have to succeed is because you have this perfectionism handbrake on, and no one has taught you how to release that handbrake.
So let’s go into the five signs that you’re a perfectionist. And I want you to be listening to these and not shaming yourself about it or beating yourself up about it. But really reflecting on whether these are showing up in your life and more specifically in your business. I’m going to be talking a little bit about each, and also what it means for your business. When you have this perfectionism handbrake on in each of these particular ways. So to overview, its overwhelm, that’s the first sign, procrastination, burnout, the all or nothing, mindset, and fear of judgment, which also manifests as people pleasing.
Within each of those are a lot of different ways that they manifest. But let’s go through each of them. So you can start to understand whether you’re a perfectionist. Whether you have that perfectionism handbrake on and whether that perfectionism handbrake is what’s been stopping your business from succeeding rather than lack of the right marketing strategy, or not knowing how to find customers and clients, all these other things that we tend to look to when we’re trying to build a business.
For me and my own story. I didn’t even realize I was a perfectionist, until I started my business. Because this perfectionist mindset when we are in the school system, and probably like you I did really well in school, because in the school system, there was a last minute so it didn’t matter that I waited until the last minute to do all of my work because there was someone who had that deadline set for me. And I could hustle the last minute didn’t matter if I burned out. I mean, it sucked. But I was able to do that I was able to succeed with this perfectionist mindset and with this handbrake on.
But once I started a business, and I started showing up as the real me, not this version of myself that I was creating that I expected, others wanted from me, but I actually started to do what I really enjoyed doing. I was interested in personal development, I wanted to share more about that. I also felt completely unqualified, and who the hell was I to be sharing anything at all. And when I began my business, which started as a blog, all those perfectionism tendencies really became obvious in a way that they weren’t obvious when I was working for someone else. And when I was a student, but when I started my business, and maybe you’ve noticed this when you started your business, that’s when perfectionism and this perfectionism handbrake really came on for you.
For me, for example, I didn’t tell anyone about my blog, including Steve, who’s my fiancee now, who was my boyfriend at the time, because I was so scared of being laughed at. I was so convinced I’d be laughed at because I was laughing at myself and thinking I could even try. I was so convinced I’d be laughed at. And so scared of that happening that I thought if I even just tell one person, and they question what I’m doing, I’ll have to shut the whole thing down. So I waited months and months and months and months before I told anyone about my business.
And I was just creating it in private, because I had so little self confidence. And so little self esteem around what I was doing, I was so scared of judgment. And even with that, I hadn’t told anyone about it, I was hiding it. And even when I was hiding it, I would post something, and then edit it after it had already been published, because I wanted it to be perfect. So that no one would judge it so that I wouldn’t feel ashamed.
I was procrastinating doing a whole lot of busy work. So I was prioritizing things that didn’t even matter. Because it was so uncomfortable to do those things that would really make the difference to really put myself out there. Instead, I spent hours and hours and hours for example, creating graphics for Pinterest and doing different things like that, because that was comfortable. And it allowed me to feel busy without having to feel vulnerable, without having to feel like maybe others would reject me and judge me and therefore I would then feel shame.
So that’s how it came up for me and I started to realize like something’s going on here. Why am I so in my own way? Why is it like I’ve got this brake on. And even though I know I have so much potential and this is very common for perfect back. Oh my goodness, I can’t speak for perfectionist that you will believe in yourself so deeply so fiercely really believe in your potential. And at the same time, you have so much self doubt, and insecurities, and all those things at the same time.
And it can be very challenging to reconcile those because you like, Why do I believe in myself so much and truly believe I have potential and I’m definitely going to succeed. And at the same time, I really believe that it’s such a joke that I’m even trying to do this, that everyone’s going to judge me, I’m never going to make it it’s never gonna work, have those two beliefs at the same time. When we have this perfectionism handbrake on.
So I knew that I would be able to succeed, but I was so in my own way. And it wasn’t until a few years later, so I started in 2013, it wasn’t till 2016 that I had my enough is enough moment where I was just so sick of being in my own way and half assing it even though I was burning out when I was doing work on my business, I was half assing it in the sense that I had this handbrake on, I was never really all in, I was never really going at full speed because that felt so scary, it felt more comfortable with this handbrake coming on.
So in 2016, I realized, like, Okay, this is enough, I am so sick of showing up in this way, I either need to go all in or quit, I can’t keep doing this. And it was over this time as well that I really started to figure out that I was a perfectionist, because I didn’t identify as being a perfectionist. Until around this time. I honestly thought all those things I said at the beginning, I’m not perfect enough to be a perfectionist. And that’s just not me. I procrastinate. I leave things to the last minute, all of that.
But once I started to recognize that I was a perfectionist, and what perfectionism really is, which again, this episode is about, I could start to have some language around it, it removes a lot of shame I had around it because I was like, Okay, it’s not just me, who’s getting in my own way like this, this is the thing. There are other people out there who will like this, too. I’m not the only one I truly thought I had a motivation issue until this point, I thought that if I could just stay motivated, I’d be able to succeed.
I didn’t realize that perfectionism and this perfectionism handbrake was the real problem. So over that time, I started to really dive deep into perfectionism, and really understand that most of what’s out there about perfectionism isn’t accurate. It really either glamorizes perfectionism or demonizes perfectionism. And a lot of the advice out there about it, which is really truly the main reason that I’m doing what I’m doing. A lot of advice out there about perfectionism is so surface level. And it sounds nice. It sounds like it’s going to be helpful, like done is better than perfect.
Just remember, nobody’s perfect all these little mantras, and sayings. But I was like, Yeah, I know, nobody’s perfect. But I’m still trying to be perfect. So what do I do about it, but no advice out there was really helping me with that. So as I figured that out for myself, as I was able to get out of my own way. And as I saw that, take my business from $0 to multiple six figures, I was able to then begin sharing that with other people, which is why I am so passionate about this podcast and perfectionist getting shit done.
Because you don’t have to keep living with this handbrake on it doesn’t have to keep stopping your business from succeeding. But those little cute mantras about nobody being perfect, aren’t going to help because you already know that you’re smart, you’re intelligent, you have that intellectual understanding already. And yet, you’re still overwhelmed. You’re still procrastinating, you’re still burning out, you’re still in that all or nothing mindset, you’re still scared of judgment. People say, Oh, just stop caring what other people think. Yeah, I’ve tried it. But I still care. So now what.
So that’s what we talk about inside PGSD. And I just want to go through these five signs. I know I’ve been leading up to it quite a bit. But I’m gonna go through these five signs, and again, really want you to be reflecting on whether these things are showing up in your life, and particularly in your business.
So the first sign that you’re a perfectionist is overwhelm. So when we want everything to be perfect, and nothing to be imperfect, so that we can avoid feeling ashamed, we get overwhelmed because that is a pretty big task that we are putting on our shoulders. So this can come up in quite a few ways. So one of those ways is being overwhelmed by the options by what to do next. So when it comes to business, for example, it might be that you are completely overwhelmed by trying to figure out what your next step should be. You want to make the right decision. You don’t want to make any wrong decisions or make any mistakes.
And there are just so many options. There are always so many marketing platforms you could be on. There are so many ways that you could position what you do. There are so many people who are telling you what to do, or people you can learn from and you don’t know which one to pick, there’s just an overwhelming amount of information and an overwhelming amount of things you can do next.
And when we’re in this perfectionist mindset with the handbrake on, overwhelmed becomes this emotional home, where we feel so comfortable, being overwhelmed, we get so used to it. And it becomes so familiar, that as soon as we’re not overwhelmed, we subconsciously do things to get ourselves back into overwhelm. Because if we’re not overwhelmed, it feels like we’re missing something, it feels like we’re going to make a mistake, it feels like things are too good to be true. And so the other shoe is going to drop. But we constantly find ourselves in overwhelm, no matter what we do.
Another way you might be getting overwhelmed is by your to do list. Perfectionist, when they have this handbrake on, they love to do lists, especially ones that have a lot on them. And never really finish, there’s just more and more and more being added to your to do list. And it might be as well. And it’s okay, if you do this, that you write a to do list and maybe you have one for every area of your life, you got one for your business, then you’ve got a live admin, one, you’ve got health and fitness one, you’ve got all these different to do lists going on.
And because it’s so overwhelming, to think, Oh, my goodness, I don’t have enough time, I don’t even know where to start. So when we do have the time, we’re just so overwhelmed. We don’t know what to do with it, that you don’t get the things done on that to do list. And you just rewrite that To Do List maybe a day later, maybe a week later. So you spent a lot of time I like to call this procrasti-planning, where you are writing to do lists and spending so much time on that.
And they look beautiful, maybe that color coded, or you’re writing them in a nice notebook or journal. But you’re not actually getting them done. And that only makes you more overwhelmed. Because that list is getting longer and longer and longer. With everything that you’ve been putting off, plus the new stuff that’s coming up. And this relates to the all or nothing mindset that I’m going to talk about later. But we have this idea of I have to be able to do everything or it’s not worth doing anything at all.
So even when we do have pockets of time to get shit done. We don’t do it because we don’t know where to start. And we think well, if I can’t get it all done, why even bother with anything at all? So it’s very overwhelming to be in that. Also, you might be overwhelmed by your own expectations for yourself. Why am I in this perfectionist mindset we have this handbrake on, we have very high standards for ourselves. But these don’t actually help us to achieve excellence, there’s a huge difference between excelling and having these high standards that aren’t actually helpful.
So we have these standards set so high that it’s impossible to achieve them that we then allow ourselves to go into this all or nothing mindset of well, I can’t get to this perfect result that I want. So why even bother trying this at all. And it might be for example, in your business, that you have a certain idea about how your product or service needs to look for it to be worthy of being launched into the world, you don’t want to let anyone down. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, you definitely don’t want to rip anyone off. And you have all of these expectations that you have put on yourself to create this perfect product or service from the get go.
And that standard is so high, it’s overwhelming, because you don’t know where to start. And also, especially if you’re just getting started or in those first few years, you haven’t perfected things yet, like you haven’t gone through enough iterations to even be able to reach that standard. You’re not allowing yourself to be a beginner, we just overwhelm ourselves with these standards that we can’t actually even meet. And then we use those high standards as a way to let ourselves off the hook and go back into that all or nothing mindset of, well, if I can’t create this perfect thing, then I may as well not create anything at all, or I need to keep waiting until I can create the perfect thing.
And it’s so easy to dress this up in a really feel good way. As I said before we say things like I don’t want to let others down. I just want to make sure that it’s worth it for the people who spend money on it. And all those things when really the truth is, we are scared. We are scared to be seen to be exposed as being a fraud even though we’re not. But we have this whole idea like we don’t really know what we’re doing. So we are scared to be exposed. We are scared for others to question it because we don’t have 100% belief in it.
And so we dress it up with all these nice little things by saying I just really care so much about the people I help that I only want to give them perfect things. But it’s doing them a disservice because we can’t get it to be perfect so we don’t give them anything at all. But that’s one of the other ways that we overwhelm ourselves. So, again, we overwhelm ourselves with options and next steps and teachers, our to do lists our own expectations.
So if that’s going on for you, it’s definitely going to be impacting your business. If you don’t actually know what your next step is, and you can’t take that next step, because you’re not going to be able to succeed, or figure out what doesn’t work so you can succeed. If you have this endless to do list, it’s so overwhelming, you never get anything done. Obviously, you’re not gonna be getting shit done in your business, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time feeling busy, because you’ll be feeling like you’re struggling so hard. That was me. In the first few years of my business, I was like, how am I not further along already, because I spent so much time struggling to build my business, it felt like that time should have added up to success. But it wasn’t because I was overwhelmed.
And I was doing things that weren’t important. And I was rewriting to do list and doing all these things that wasn’t actually going to move the business forward. They weren’t needle movers. And our expectations, it’s so easy to dress that up. And to have that sound really nice and really responsible and like the smart thing to do. But we overwhelm ourselves with these expectations that we know we can’t meet. And then we use it as an excuse to let ourselves off the hook. So we don’t have to ever really put ourselves out there and be vulnerable and risk, the shame that we are so busy trying to avoid.
The second sign this is probably the most telling is procrastination. And again, this is why there’s so many misconceptions around perfectionism, because we think a perfectionist would not procrastinate that’s not something a perfect person does. But if you think about it if we want everything to be perfect, and to avoid imperfection, so that we don’t have to feel shame. Procrastination is a pretty good strategy to do that. When we are procrastinating we’re essentially withholding effort.
And we are not allowing ourselves to put a full effort in. Because effort feels like a sign of inadequacy, that if we’re putting a full effort in, it must mean that we are lacking in some kind of natural talent or ability. This goes to Carol Dweck and her concept of the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. So when we’re in that perfectionist mindset with the handbrake on, we have what she calls a fixed mindset. So we believe that our talents, our abilities, our intelligence, are fixed and can’t be changed. And when we think like that, we see everything we do as evidence of whether or not we’re good enough.
And as I mentioned, we see effort as a sign of inadequacy for in the growth mindset. That’s not the case, we’re not in the growth mindset, which doesn’t have to do with how much you like personal development and how many books you read. In this growth mindset. We actually live by that mantra that everyone knows, which is that it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried it all. In the perfectionist mindset we have that handbrake on, we believe it’s better to not try than it is to fail. Hence procrastination.
Because when we’re procrastinating when not really trying, and I don’t know if you can relate to this, but I used to procrastinate a lot as a student. And as I mentioned, it worked well for me, I did really well. I have a law degree and a finance degree that I’m not using, but I have them and I did really well throughout school and throughout university. By procrastinating like it really felt like that was why I did well. That was my secret to success that I could really work well at the last minute.
But the reason that I did that was actually to protect my potential and my belief that I was smart and intelligent. And here’s how it worked. So if I procrastinated, say, for example, on a Law assignment, I procrastinated until the last minute, and I did an all nighter, I was a pro at pulling these all nighters, I had a whole system for how I would do it. And I had this idea again, that I could do my best work at the last minute, I just worked well under pressure. And I even a couple of times, I tried to do an assignment early, and I didn’t do as well as when I did it last minute. So I was like, it’s 100% true, I do my best work at the last minute.
But the reason I was doing that, and the reason I could really show up at the last minute was because that urgency wasn’t like I needed that urgency to get it done. But when that urgency came, I finally lowered that bar that we talked about in the first sign of overwhelm, that we have these overwhelming expectations, I finally lowered the bar. And I was able to do that. Because I knew subconsciously I wasn’t thinking this consciously. Subconsciously, I knew that if I did well, I get to feel extra smart.
Because I’d be like, Oh, my goodness, I did that at the last minute. Imagine how well I would have done if I didn’t procrastinate. So that feels good. And if I didn’t do well, and this is where it’s really powerful. If I didn’t do well, I could say what I would have done better if I didn’t procrastinate. Can you see how in each of those situations, regardless of how well I did, I got to still feel smart, I either got to feel extra smart. Because I could say well imagine how I would have done, or I got to protect my identity around my intelligence, because I could blame procrastination for lack of results, instead of having to blame myself.
So we think about procrastination as withholding effort. There’s lots of ways that perfectionist procrastinate. Maybe some of these are familiar. The first is overthinking, overthinking feels responsible. It feels like the smart thing to do. And we feel like if we’re not overthinking something, we’re going to miss something, we’re going to make the wrong decision, we’re going to embarrass ourselves, that it’s the smart thing to do to overthink.
But overthinking is a form of procrastination, because when we’re overthinking, we’re not doing we’re getting to delay the action, we’re getting to delay vulnerability, we’re getting to delay, failure or success is something we like to delay as well, because we’re scared that things will get too good to be true. And the other shoe will drop. Or we’re scared that when we succeed. And this comes back to fear of judgment, which we’ll talk about soon, that when we’ll succeed, the people in our lives won’t be able to relate to us anymore.
So maybe for example, in business, if you have business friends, and you currently bond over your struggle to build your business, it might subconsciously feel really dangerous and unsafe to start succeeding because maybe your friends are going to start looking at you differently if you can’t bond with them over how hard it is to build your business. Or maybe you won’t be relatable to your friends and family anymore because you’ll be making a lot more money than they are.
So there’s so many reasons that we procrastinate that I’m not going to go into in this episode, but I want you to really start seeing that procrastination isn’t just scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix though it can be those things. But usually for perfectionist especially since perfectionist love feeling productive, we tend to engage more in forms of procrastination, that feel productive without feeling vulnerable. And there’s a big misconception that perfectionism is about fear of failure, or fear of rejection.
And I actually used to believe this and teach this when I was still in my early years of learning about perfectionism. But it really goes deeper than that. It’s about the fear of feeling ashamed. And it’s not just with failure and rejection, that we feel shame. It’s also a lot of times with success, and this is why upper limit problems come up, I’m not going to go into them in this episode. But we have these upper limit problems, where when things really start succeeding, we really put that handbrake on, and you might have experienced this, you’ve been in your own way.
You’re like, Okay, I’m sick of this, I’m finally gonna get out of my own way and start showing up and being consistent and doing all the things. And then things start working. And your brain is like, what the fuck, pulls his handbrake on, so that things slow down, and they feel controllable again, they feel comfortable again, they feel familiar again. So it’s not just failure that we’re trying to avoid. It’s not just rejection that we’re trying to avoid.
A lot of times we’re trying to avoid success. And this is why it gets so tricky. Because we’re trying to find this sweet spot between failure and success. We’re not failing, because that’s embarrassing. But we’re not so successful, that the people in our lives, reject us or judge us. So of course, that’s overwhelming to there’s so many things about it. That’s overwhelming. And so with procrastination, we have overthinking that’s one of the signs that you’re procrastinating one of the ways that perfectionist procrastinate, indecision.
Again, if you haven’t made a decision, you don’t have to take action. And we love this, we love being confused, or we love what I call procrasti-learning, which is when we learn to the point that it becomes procrastination to the point that like we know enough, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we don’t want to if we’re just scared to take action, but we disguise that by saying, Oh, no, I just love learning. And I just want to take this course as well and learn from this podcast as well and read this book as well. And I just named the next one, the next one, the next one, and then I’ll know enough to get started, then I’ll know enough to take the next step.
So if you’ve been saying I don’t know what to do like, and again, it’s all about us trying to protect our potential. And I believe that we are smart, intelligent, because my guess is growing up, you have been praised for your intelligence, for being smart. That’s something that puts us in the fixed mindset with this handbrake on. And we’ve been praised that way by very well meaning people. But when we are given all of this praise, for being smart for having so much potential for having so much intelligence, we don’t want to do anything that could prove that to be wrong.
And so indecision is one of the ways that we prevent there being any evidence created, that we aren’t smart and intelligent. And procrasti-learning is a huge way that we do that as well. Because if we’re learning we’re not doing. If we’re undecided, and like I just, if only I could decide what my business name would be. If only I could decide what platform to be at, if only I could decide, like we have this whole idea of if only instead of actually making the decision. And going out there and seeing how it goes which feels scary because, again, when we’re in this mindset, with the handbrake on, we think everything we do is evidence of whether or not we’re good enough, so we’re so scared to make the wrong decision.
We’re so scared to actually put ourselves out there and risk failing and also risk succeeding. It’s much more comfortable to be confused. It’s much more comfortable to be undecided. And to be saying, well, if only I could decide, if only I knew and yet we keep ourselves subconsciously in this indecision and this confusion, so that we don’t have to put ourselves out there and risk the shame that we are trying to avoid.
Another way we procrastinate is busy work. This is huge in business. Absolutely huge, especially when there is so much glamorization around working really long days. And when most of us feel very guilty for not working super long hours, especially when things are going well. We think I need to be working hard, or it means I’m undeserving. So we do a lot of busy work. We prioritize the things that don’t matter. As much like they feel like they matter. It feels like that graphic being perfect, really matters.
So it can be really challenging to pick this in the moment. This is why in PGSD, we have so many coaching calls, because you often need someone outside of you to be able to call this out. When you’re doing the busy work, it feels so important to have to really start getting onto yourself with this. But we will do busy work either prioritizing the unimportant, so we don’t have time for the scary things. Or we’ll be doing the scary things. But we’ll do it in a very complicated way. A lot of overthinking.
So it takes longer, and we can do less of it. Or, for example, instead of batching those tasks together and doing them as quickly and efficiently as possible. That might feel uncomfortable, because that would be too easy. And then you’d actually have even more time to do the scary things or to rest, which feels super uncomfortable to you, you would rather not be resting you feel guilty. Whenever you ever asked you tell yourself you should be being more productive. So you will space things out.
So for example, say if you’re using Instagram to promote your business, instead of using a program to help you schedule things out and to write all your captions for the week at once and find all the photos at once and do the graphics and do all of that would take significantly less time then showing up each month and be like holy shit, I need to post it a scrolling through your camera roll to find something, writing a caption on the spot spending 60 minutes doing that, and then probably not even posting it because no one’s going to like it anyway, we do this, because then we don’t have time for the scary stuff, the really scary stuff that we need to do, like selling, promoting, putting ourselves out there, risking people rejecting us if we want to create relationships with them.
So it may be that that task itself is important and is a needle mover. But we go about it in such a way where it takes as much time as possible so that we have less time to rest. Because again, that feels really uncomfortable. And we have less time to do scary things so we can do less scary things. Procrastinate learning I have mentioned waiting for the perfect time to start or to take the next step waiting for the perfect circumstances, waiting for the perfect qualifications, waiting for the perfect number of testimonials or reviews.
There’s so many ways that we justify this waiting, it feels again responsible intelligence smart to wait until you have the perfect start. When this perfectionist mindset we have this handbrake on, we have this all or nothing mindset, we think well, I have to have the perfect start or it’s not going to end perfectly. We equate a perfect start with perfect results. And so it’s scary, it feels vulnerable to start imperfectly, even though obviously we all intellectually know. That’s what you got to do.
Minimum Viable Product, you’ve got to start with the bare minimum that you can put yourself out there, iterate, iterate, iterate, but we don’t tend to do what we intellectually know we need to do. Instead, we wait for the perfect time to start. And we justify that. And because there are a lot of other people in our lives, who will also scared of failure and making mistakes. It’s very easy for others to justify that and say, Well, yeah, of course, you should wait until you’re 100% sold on that idea until you know exactly what it is.
All these different things, we get justification from others who are also scared because in their own lives, they don’t put themselves out there confidently, or courageously, they wait until the perfect time to start as well. The perfect conditions, the perfect qualifications for someone to sign that permission slip. So they justify and validate it when we do that. And that’s why having coaching and community is so helpful, especially when those people are people that are willing to call you out on this kind of thing. Instead of saying, Yeah, you should wait, you should wait until you can get that perfect start.
And it’s so ironic, all of this procrastination, because we feel really guilty. When we’re not being productive. We feel guilty whenever we’re resting. And in this episode, we’re not going to go into the importance of clean rest, which is resting without guilt. But that’s something that you really need to be looking at as a perfectionist. But it’s so ironic, all of these signs of perfectionism. Because by having ourselves show up in this way we actually create what we’re trying to avoid, which is a shame because we show up in a way that isn’t as productive as we want it to be that doesn’t tend to result in success.
If it does result in success. We never even feel good enough no matter what we achieve. So we end up feeling ashamed feeling behind all these things anyway, and yet we’re doing all this to try and avoid that feeling. So this is why we want to release that perfectionism handbrake, so you can actually show up confidently put yourself out there, get shit done consistently. All those things. You’ve been one wanting to do.
And this isn’t on my list, but it also relates to procrasti-learning to procrastinate that we were just talking about that it very well is the case most likely that you have been spending a lot of time in the business procrasti-learning, and that you have been intellectually understanding what you need to do to take your business to whatever the next level is for you, that you need to, you know, whatever it is, there’s so many different examples, but whatever it is, you intellectually know what you need to do, you could give advice to others, but you find it really challenging to turn that advice on yourself and to actually take it.
And when you’re in that situation, you probably are shaming yourself quite a lot, because you know, better than to be procrastinating, you know, better than to be doing whatever it is you’re doing. And yet, you’re still doing it. And so it that is just such a huge source of shame for perfectionist, because we feel like, well, I know so much. And we can get really caught in that where we think what we know, like, that’s the same as living it. But there’s knowing it, and there’s living it and doing it.
And they’re not the same thing. And PGSD, for example, is designed to help you take what you intellectually know, and put it into practice to take all of those marketing strategies, and all of those things you’ve learned and actually follow through with them consistently. Instead of right now, where you are learning so much, and you’re smart, and you’re intelligent, and you understand a lot about personal development, you understand a lot about productivity. Maybe you understand a lot about perfectionism already, hopefully, if not, this episode has really helped you with that.
But because you have this intellectual understanding, you’re thinking you should be further along than you are. But we really want to get you out of this intellectual pursuit, and into doing into living it. Because business and school are not the same. In school, we get rewarded for having potential, we get rewarded for what we intellectually understand. And it’s very easy, especially when you did well in school, to take that mindset and apply it to business.
But you do not get credit for what you know, when it comes to business. You do not get points for having potential, you only get points for what you actually do for how you can show up and we have this handbrake on, we get in our own way, and our business does not reflect our potential. And that’s what this podcast is here to help you do PGSD, to help you release that handbrake. So your business can actually reflect your potential and how smart you are and how intelligent you aren’t all of those things you have going through that you actually really truly care about the people you help, and you want to help them.
And you really feel like this is what you were put here to do. Despite all the impostor syndrome and the fear and the self doubt and all of that, of course that you have going on as well. There’s something in you that knows that this is what you’re meant to be doing. We want to have your business actually reflect that. And that’s what happens when you release your perfectionism handbrake.
The third sign let’s keep going is burning out. So this seems to go quite well with procrastination. Also feeling guilty when you rest, and overwhelm and all the other signs. But when we are burning out, we tend to do our work at the last minute. And until then, we often procrastinate and overthink and spend that time feeling productive. Or sometimes we just do that blatant procrastination, like watching Netflix and like scrolling through Instagram.
But a lot of times we’re just doing busy work until the 11th hour. I’m like, Okay, I really need to do the scary things. I need to actually sit with this discomfort. It’s when we have this whole idea, this whole story. And again, I truly believe I just did my best work at the last minute I was just the kind of person who could work well under pressure, which of course, made me feel smart, because only smart people could be like that. But the truth was, as I said, I was procrastinating so I could protect my potential and my identity as being someone who’s smarter.
Also, the truth was that I was so uncomfortable working with that feeling of discomfort there. And so it meant I procrastinated to avoid that feeling. If I was doing work ahead of time, I was like, Oh, I just don’t know what to say. And this has to be perfect. And there was so much pressure I put on myself that it was so uncomfortable to just sit down and work and I didn’t have practice. I didn’t allow myself to practice feeling that way. So I put it off till the last minute to the latest moment I could because I felt so vulnerable.
Doing that work ahead of time. I didn’t want to feel like I was a trihard I didn’t want to feel like I’d put a full effort in and it hadn’t work because then I’d only be able to blame myself instead of being able to blame procrastination or something else. So I did it at the last minute, because at the last minute, I had no choice. But to sit with that discomfort. It’s not like that discomfort wasn’t there, but I had no choice, but to sit with it.
So just be aware of that as well. We think, Oh, I just need the deadline, I just need that urgency. I just do my best work under stress under pressure. But really, it’s that you unpracticed at sitting with discomfort. And it’s only when your story changes from, I could do this now. But I’m not going to do it now until I have to get this done. Like I’m getting this on now, no matter what. It’s only when that story changes, that you allow yourself to sit down with that discomfort.
And it feels even more comfortable doing that. Because if it doesn’t work, you get to blame procrastination, and leaving it until the last minute, so it becomes more tolerable. But it’s really about us not wanting to feel vulnerable, us not wanting to risk feeling ashamed. And we’re scared off and we’re burning out a lot. We’re scared to go all in, in case we burn out again, there’s this fear of burning out. And also it feels like burnout is just the cost of success.
And obviously, when it comes to business, there’s a lot of people saying that burnout is just part of it. If you’re gonna do a big launch a big promotion, of course, you’re gonna burn out. And yes, you can try and avoid it. But it’s a very stressful thing. Didn’t you know that? This whole narrative around it. And when I really bought into that narrative, that was my experience that I burned out every time I did a promotion. And when I questioned that, and when hmm, maybe that doesn’t have to be the case. I was able to start burning out I haven’t burned out in quite a few years at this point.
But burnout as well, I’m not gonna go too much more into it in this episode. But burnout doesn’t come from having a long to do list, or the demands on our time. The same with overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from how we’re thinking. Burnout comes from how we’re thinking too, so there are people who can work crazy hours and not burnout. Why because of the energy they’re working from. So when we have this perfectionism handbrake on, we burn out because we are working from a place of lack and scarcity and not enoughness and insecurity, and impatience.
So with that energy, even if we’re not working long hours, but especially when we are as well, we end up burning out. It’s the energy we’re working from, not how much we’re doing. So you really need to if you want to get out of this burnout, you really need to stop focusing on okay, what can I do to have better work life balance and all that. It’s not that that is causing the burnout, though it could be contributing to it. But most likely, if you don’t have work life balance, it’s because you’re scared that if you don’t work a certain amount, you won’t be successful.
And if you’re not successful, you won’t be loved. So you prioritize that over other things. So really, this burnout is just a manifestation of the belief that we’re not enough that we need to be more productive, so we can succeed so we can be loved. And that’s why we feel guilty when we rest, because it feels like that is in direct opposition, with us being loved and accepted by others. And as human beings. That’s what we want. We just want to feel connected to others, we just want to be loved and part of that tribe.
So burnout is the third sign and just have a think about whether you’ve been burning out in your business. I used to be in such a cycle of burnout, like I could basically look at my watch, and know when I was gonna burn out because it was such a pattern. It was only when I started to change the way I was thinking that I was able to get out of burnout and releasing that perfection handbrake.
The fourth sign is all or nothing, either doing things perfectly, or not doing them at all, there are so many other ways that the all or nothing mindset comes up. So again, often it’s with this idea of the amount of effort we’re putting in, so we need to put in a perfect effort, or there’s no point bothering. So this comes up with the to do list, we need to be able to get everything down. There’s no point doing anything at all. A huge way this comes up for perfectionist that might be a bit easier to see is with health and fitness.
Maybe you keep trying to get fit, or you do a 12 week challenge or something like that, and you do a few weeks, then you fall off the wagon. This is something that is very common when we have this handbrake on. And the reason that we do this again, this is just another way we withhold effort so we can avoid feeling shame. So in this all or nothing mindset, we do things perfectly, because we think okay, well at least if I’m doing this, I’m gonna get a perfect result. I’m not going to feel ashamed.
But as soon as there’s a little bump in the road, it starts to feel really vulnerable to put in a full effort because we’re probably not going to get the result. That’s at least how we think. So we subconsciously abandon or forget, whatever it was, you’re gonna focus on. Okay, I’ve ruined this week. I’m going to wait until Monday, I’m going to wait till next month, I’m going to wait till the first of January. We do that so that failure and shame feels within our control instead of it being something that’s happening to us because it feels so vulnerable to put in a full effort.
Since effort is a sign of inadequacy, when we have that handbrake on, that’s what we’re thinking that we withhold effort as soon as things are starting to look imperfect. So that instead of us having to experience shame, were the one who decided not to continue. And we can blame lack of action. Instead of having to blame ourselves, we can say, Oh, well, yeah, I was doing that program. But I gave up after three weeks, instead of saying, guess I did it for 12 weeks. And I gave my full effort to the whole thing. And I still am not happy with how I look, I’m still at exactly the same weight if the goal, for example was weight loss, or I still can’t lift a heavier weight if your goal was strength just to give this health and fitness example, it feels scary to think we could end up in that situation when we gave it a full effort.
And we tried so hard and it didn’t work that we stopped train so that we can blame lack of trying instead of having to blame ourselves. So you can hopefully see a bit of a theme here. We are creating all of these sneaky subtle ways to let ourselves off the hook. So that we don’t have to blame ourselves and our lack of ability, intelligence, talent so that we don’t have to create any further evidence that we’re not good enough.
Because when we have this handbrake on, we believe that we’re not good enough. We are trying so hard to prove that we are lovable, that we are worthy. And so it feels very, very, very vulnerable to create any more evidence that might support that painful belief that we have. So we do everything we can to show up in a way where we never have to blame ourselves for lack of success, or for failure.
We can always blame how we showed up. We can always blame something else whenever on the hook. But unfortunately, when we’re not taking responsibility, we’re not putting them full effort. We never really succeed either. So there’s a lot bit of irony with this whole thing as I mentioned, but with this all or nothing mindset, we can be all nothing about the amount of effort we put in, we can be all or nothing about the results. So say for example, with goal setting and having a goal, you might think, well, if I can’t get all the way to my goal, there’s no point even trying, when obviously, like, if you think about it intellectually, not true, it’s better to get as close to that goal as possible.
Rather than saying exactly the same place that you’re in currently, which you’re not satisfied with. But when we’re in this all or nothing mindset, it feels vulnerable to pursue a goal and not get all the way there, because we’re going to create evidence, this is what we think we’re going to create evidence that we’re not good enough. And we already believe we’re not good enough. And it’s so painful to have any more evidence of that.
So we give up on the goal, we often it’s not even this blatant giving up, we just, oh, I’m gonna set another goal, I’m gonna get busy with other things, or what tends to happen is that we have a lot of goals all at once, and want this total life makeover all at once. And you might be trying to do this with your business, and also with your whole life. So in business, it can look like you want to update every single thing all at once. So the thing that you’re selling, and also your marketing, and also your website, and like everything, like everything just needs a makeover.
Like I just want to start over from scratch. And maybe you’ve done this, you keep restarting. And you keep deleting, maybe it’s your Instagram profile, or deleting old posts, or like doing anything you can to start fresh, because when we have this clean slate, it doesn’t feel vulnerable, because there’s no track record that we’ve put an effort in that hasn’t resulted in a successful outcome. So we just love starting from scratch also, because again, we like to feel overwhelmed. And we like overcomplicating things. Because if things feel easy, that feels uncomfortable, because that we are not deserving.
So if you are starting from scratch a lot, you are restarting goal, if you’re not going to get all the way there if you keep changing the dates, or changing what you’re going to focus on. But again, you could have so many goals in business, you’re trying to focus on everything at once. You just want to do this whole makeover in your life. Maybe you have goals around business, you have goals around health and fitness, you have goals around relationships, you have goals around spirituality, you’ve got everything going on.
Because of this all or nothing mindset. And then when you can’t do it all you just like fuck it, I didn’t even get anyway, I should just be grateful for where I am. But we self sabotage when we have multiple goals. Because we get to say, again, well, if I wasn’t so busy with my business goal would have been better with my health and fitness goal. If I wasn’t so busy with the health and fitness, my relationships would be better. And we get to let ourselves off the hook by bit, blaming busyness, and having so many goals instead of having to blame our selves.
So a good way to know if you have this all or nothing mindset, if you’re currently in this right now is that you are falling off the wagon, you are sub starting, maybe you tend to work in spurts of motivation. And this is something that in business can really make you feel like you are spending a lot of energy and effort in your business that should be paying off and then you get frustrated because it’s not paying off. Because you stop starting.
And often when you stop starting, you’re not just doing that, but you’re stop starting, and then you’re starting over again. So say for example, in a 12 month period, instead of consistently showing up imperfectly over that extended period of time, which is going to feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, but is going to have you been a different person with a different business, the end of that year, we’re in this all or nothing mindset, we have all these goals get so inspired, oh my goodness, I want to change everything. And I’m so excited to do this.
And then maybe you shop fully for that for probably two to three weeks at the most you fall off the wagon, because you’re not getting results yet. And it’s starting to feel vulnerable. So like, subconsciously, you’re thinking like, I need to stop putting full effort into this because it’s gonna get embarrassing if it doesn’t work out. So you fall off the wagon, and probably fall off the wagon for at least a few weeks, if not a few months. So say you were like that at the beginning of January, then maybe it comes to beginning of April. And you’re like, Okay, I’m sick of this.
I’m going to give my business another makeover. Am I really going to go for it. And you repeat that again and again and again. But each time you are starting over fresh. You’re like, Oh no, I don’t like all those things I posted on Instagram or that didn’t work. I need to revamp everything. You don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression. Any customers or clients like you want everything to be just right. So you can succeed. Remember, we think if we just have this perfect beginning will have the perfect ending.
So you started over which means in that 12 month period, you’re basically in the same position you are at the beginning of the year. You’re exhausted and probably burnt out even though you haven’t made much progress because you’ve been working from a place of lack and not enoughness. You’ve been so busy with this procrastination, it feels like you’ve been doing stuff but your business in the same place and then it gets really disappointing and disheartening because it’s one year later and you’re still setting the same goals for yourself again and again and again.
And then self trust is the whole thing. With perfectionist this, obviously, there’s so much I can say about all of this. This is why there’s already hundreds of episodes of this podcast. But self trust is another thing that perfectionist lack when the handbrake is on, because we let ourselves down so often that we’re scared of doing that again. And so we just decided, okay, to avoid letting myself down and disappointing myself, I’m just going to not even promise myself anything.
And that doesn’t work, if you think about it with another person, if there was someone you didn’t trust, and they said, Okay, I’m gonna earn your trust by never promising you anything. So I can’t disappoint you. How do you feel about that person? Do you trust them? When they follow through on that commitment to not making any promises so they can never let you down? No, it doesn’t really change the relationship.
But that’s what we do, we get so frustrated with ourselves. And we have this restlessness, because we know we have so much potential, and yet, we’re not actually living it, that we go, cool. I’m not going to make any plans, I’m not going to set any goals, I just don’t want to disappoint myself, I don’t want to get my hopes up and let myself down yet again. So we have this lack of self trust, that shows up in lack of follow through, it shows up and not trusting ourselves to actually feel our emotions.
So we avoid a lot of emotions and resist a lot. So they keep persisting. And that’s how we’re working from this place of inadequacy and not enoughness. And we don’t trust ourselves to make decisions. So you’re second guessing you’re always asking other people for their advice instead of turning inwards. All those things.
Lack of self trust is a big thing that comes along with perfectionism. It’s something that we work on in the PGSD process inside PGSD. But know that there’s all or nothing mindset, it’s just a sign your handbrake sign. So the sign that something wrong with you like with all of these, these aren’t a sign there’s something wrong with you, you’re never going to succeed. I’m speaking from experience here, I have been so deep in all of this. And I still do a lot of these things.
And yet, because I have been able to release that handbrake in the beginning, just a little bit, and then a little bit more a little bit more. I have been able to create a business that I love that truly helps people that supports me supports my team, like all these amazing things. And still, I’m working on this stuff too. So know that again, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing with I need to completely release this handbrake, or there’s no point in doing any work on this at all. No, even just releasing your perfectionism handbrake just a little bit. That is going to help you to start getting out of your own way and getting shit done and creating success.
And you can create so much success yourself and not just success, but fulfillment and satisfaction. Because as a perfectionist, you probably have no issue creating success in a lot of ways, but you never feel good enough. No matter what you achieve. That’s what we really want to be changing, that you can actually achieve things without getting in your own way. And you actually feel good about them. You’re able to give yourself credit, you’re able to feel proud of yourself. You’re able to actually appreciate what you’ve accomplished.
And that’s not going to make you lazy. It’s not going to make you complacent. But you’re actually able to be like yes, I did that I’m a badass, what’s next. But when we have this handbrake on, even if we succeed, we’re like, Okay, well, now I need to achieve this next thing and this next thing and this next thing, and we never feel good enough, we really want to get you out of that. Again, we don’t want to be all or nothing with this handbrake, you can release it just a little bit, and achieve so much.
The fifth sign that you’re a perfectionist is fear of judgment. And people pleasing. This comes up a lot in business, not surprisingly, that when you are building a business, you are putting yourself out there, you are giving yourself permission. And maybe you haven’t done that much in your life before because you’ve always got permission from your parents, from your professors from your boss, and now you’re the boss, you’re the one giving yourself permission that’s uncomfortable in and of itself.
And you are scared that people will judge you, you’re scared that people will judge you for being a failure will judge you for thinking that you can do something that they can’t do will judge you for thinking that you’re the kind of person who could even share advice or sell a certain product to do whatever it is you’re doing. You’re scared they’re going to judge you for succeeding and for making more money than them for having a different lifestyle than them for having different beliefs in them.
And so, as I mentioned, we kind of try and do this little dance, we’re not too successful, but we’re not a failure either. And we’re just succeeding enough but not too much, which gets so exhausting. And it is not satisfying either to be in that situation. So a lot of times will manifest as hiding things. Like for me, for example, that I hid my blog and my business for a long time, because I felt so ashamed about it that I thought everyone else is just going to laugh at it. And I really projected that onto everyone else. But I hid.
And also hiding the real you that might not even be that you just hide what you’re doing. But when you’re doing it, you might hide the real you. And this is because it feels so vulnerable to share who you really are, what you would like that you believe you have potential, all these different things. So we just create this kind of version of ourselves, there’s not the real us so that if we get rejected, we can blame it on them not knowing the real us, it feels much more vulnerable to say, well, they knew the real me, I really expose myself and share myself fully and they still didn’t like me, that feels so vulnerable.
So what we do instead, is we pretend to like things that we don’t. We pretend that we don’t like things that we do, we show up in this non authentic kind of way where maybe yes, we are trying to be our real selves. But we’re kind of diluting it and distorting it and censoring it. Because we’re so scared that if people really got to know us, they wouldn’t like us. So we’d rather be liked for something we’re not then being loved for who we really are. And I’m still working. I mean, I’m working on everything, as I said, but I’m still working on this in a huge way.
But, even if you’re able to just change this just a little bit, it can make a huge impact and a huge difference in your business, in the people you help in your relationships, all those different things as well. So it’s not all or nothing, you don’t have to be this fearless, courageous warrior. Or it’s not worth even trying to make progress with this at all. But if you can start to really show yourself to people and do that in little ways, and like just wade into the water, it can really make such a big difference.
And I found at least when it comes to this, that confidence can kind of just creep up on you that it might not feel like there’s like I haven’t had a day where I’ve been like, oh my goodness, I woke up this morning, and I’m suddenly believing in what I do and feeling so confident about it. But over time, and just releasing that perfectionism handbrake a little bit by little bit, I’m now able to show up in so much more of a confident way than when I first started my business.
But again, there was never this like epiphany like this one moment where suddenly it was like a switch flipped over. It’s just been this gradual change. And part of that is knowing that, like it’s okay to feel scared of what other people think. And there’s all these things around fear of judgment of like, no one cares what, you know, no one’s even thinking about you anyway, don’t care about what other people think. And again, all that advice. People mean, well, but yeah, what do I actually do about it?
We spent a lot of time working on that inside PGSD, as a huge part of releasing your perfectionism handbrake, but no, that’s a sign of being a perfectionist. Having this mindset and having it currently working against you, is fear of judgment, people pleasing, want to be liked by everyone. And we care less about how much we like ourselves than how much others like us, including people that we don’t even like whether they like us or not what they gonna say about us or not all of that stuff.
That is a sign that this perfectionist mindset is currently working against you and that you have that handbrake on. And just because you have felt that way, and you currently still do doesn’t mean it has to be like that forever. It’s very practical things you can do besides just stop caring what people think, to have you actually showing up courageously. But that is the fifth and final sign that I’m going to talk about for being a perfectionist. And yeah, it’s totally okay, if you’re scared of what people think.
And if you’re scared of usually we have this idea we’re scared of what people think. But actually, we’re really just scared of what like one or two people think usually it’s one of your parents, and then probably one other person as well. So it’s okay, if you feel that way. Everyone else listening to this podcast as well can relate to you can relate to that. And doesn’t mean you’re not going to succeed and doesn’t mean that you’re never going to be able to confidently put yourself out there.
But with all that said, those are the five signs that you are a perfectionist, overwhelm, procrastination, burnout, all or nothing mindset, fear of judgment and people pleasing. I hope this has shed some light on perfectionism for you and maybe why your business isn’t currently a reflection of your potential and what you could be focusing on to help you to succeed because as I mentioned, it’s so easy to just be focused on the marketing strategies and the tactics and the pricing and all of these technical elements when most likely you know, you need to do like you’ve been procrastinating, you know a lot already.
And your issue is that you aren’t able to confidently put yourself out there that you aren’t able to get out of your own way. And that if you do that you aren’t able to do it consistently. So you fall off the wagon. And so the PGSD process inside PGSD is designed to help you with that to teach you how to release your perfectionism handbrake and not just have you intellectually understanding that, but having you actually doing that, I hope this has helped you and that it’s helped you really just get a sense of the real problem, as I just mentioned that for me when I was so stuck in my business, I just thought I had a motivation problem.
I just felt like, like, why can’t I just do all the things I know I need to do. And once I realized that there was a word for it, perfectionism, there’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, and I just needed to learn how to release that perfectionism handbrake that I’ve gotten so comfortable with having on, everything changed for me.
And I was able to actually start making progress instead of just Googling all this advice on how to stay motivated and trying to stay motivated by buying pretty planners and buying the next course on a different marketing strategy. Once I actually really started to do this work, everything changed for me, it’s why I’m so passionate about helping you. So I hope you have had a great time listening to this. It’s been so helpful, and I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.
If you enjoy this podcast, I invite you to sign up to receive a short daily perfectionist power up from me. These are little notes and reminders sent to you via email that’ll help you plan properly as a perfectionist and get you out of your own way. So you can go to Samlaurabrown.com/power to sign up today and you’ll start receiving motivating perfectionist power-ups this week.