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Read This to Change How You Think About Perfectionism

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Perfectionism is on the rise, especially among young people. A January study published by the American Psychological Association, found that between 1989 and 2016, self-oriented perfectionism — or the need to be perfect — increased by 10 percent. During the same time period, other-oriented perfectionism — placing higher expectations on others — grew by 16 percent.

So, what’s the solution? Surprisingly, expectation management. Intuition says that letting perfectionists, whether self-oriented or other-oriented, set expectations will lead to unrealistic goals. However, trying to keep them from setting high standards isn’t an option because it’s in their nature.

Below we will see how to show perfectionists at all levels within a company how to use their personality type to their advantage:

1. Employees

Self-oriented perfectionism

While most young people flounder to find a career path, perfectionists know exactly what they want. Their perfectionism can lead to great professional goals, as long as the expectations are managed properly. Arrange mentorships between experienced employees and young professionals to discuss their personal goals.

For instance, let’s say an employee wants to become a manager within three years. The more experienced colleague can then explain what it takes to get there and whether or not that timeline is realistic. With that information, the self-oriented perfectionist can create an actionable plan that meets their expectations.

Other-oriented perfectionism

Before an individual even applies for a job, they create expectations. They do research and form an idea of what it would be like to work there. Once hired, they then expect leaders and co-workers to fit into that vision even though it can lead to them being overly critical of others.

Manage these expectations early by explaining that not every employee contributes to the company in the same way. This person was hired to do a specific job, and their success will look different than a co-worker’s.

Make this clear when acknowledging your employees. When you publicly praise an employee, tie their performance to the company mission. This way, perfectionists will see how everyone fits into the big picture. They’ll then be able to form new expectations that reflect each co-worker’s role in the organization.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

2. Managers

Self-oriented perfectionism – Managers who are self-oriented perfectionists face a unique dilemma. They want to succeed, but their success is tied to their team. If their employees falter, managers feel like they’ve failed.

As a leader, you need to adjust their perspective. Have managers list what is under their control and what isn’t. For instance, they can set a goal to meet weekly with each employee to discuss performance. However, they can’t blame themselves if an employee doesn’t take their advice. Once they have their list, have them set expectations for themselvesonly themselves. Also, make sure there is a clear way to assess their success.

If they want to improve their communication skills, ask them what this would look like. Would it mean receiving fewer clarification questions from their team or would it mean spending more time listening to employees? This will help them form a clear definition of personal success.

Other-oriented perfectionism

When a manager is an other-oriented perfectionist, they can overwhelm their team with high expectations. Nonetheless, when they properly harness their need for perfection, they can motivate their team.

Remind managers that, as a perfectionist, they have a very clear picture of what employees’ success looks like. The trick is getting their team members to buy into these goals. For example, employees may think it’s unrealistic to increase sales by 25 percent in three months. But a manager who’s an other-oriented perfectionist sees a clear road to that milestone.

To ease employee doubts, encourage managers to break down larger expectations with employees. Have them set smaller goals for each individual and clearly explain the unique role they play in achieving these goals. This will turn an other-oriented perfectionist’s goal from overwhelming to motivating.

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandino

3. Yourself

Self-oriented perfectionism

Leaders with self-oriented perfectionism tend to spread themselves too thin. They feel they need to be a part of every aspect of the organization, but this inevitably leads to failure.

Instead of trying to be perfect at everything, take stock of your strengths — and be honest. For instance, if you came from a marketing background, don’t create high expectations for yourself when it comes to product development. Instead, surround yourself with colleagues and employees who make up for those weaknesses.

Other-oriented perfectionism

As a leader, you see endless potential, but sometimes, you can push everyone too far. Avoid this by tracking progress toward each goal. Set smaller expectations to satisfy your perfectionist instincts. Every time a small goal is met, celebrate that success with your team.

Most importantly, be sure that the data you’re tracking is objective. One issue perfectionist leaders face is defining great work. You envision one result, while everyone else imagines something different. Numbers are less subjective and help you maintain a realistic perspective.

Has the need for perfectionism improved your life? Let us know your thoughts below!

Life

How Your Psychological Blind Spots Keep You Stuck in Life

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Sometimes, life doesn’t seem to make any sense. Albert Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Here’s the funny thing. We will say that line about someone else, have a good chuckle, and then DO THE SAME THING OURSELVES! This time, it’s not that funny, is it? I know. I’ve done it myself. (more…)

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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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