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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 to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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