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Overcoming Perfectionism: A Guide for Women Leaders

Fernanda Lind, March 27, 2023

As a professional woman leader, you likely strive for excellence in all aspects of your life. But what if your pursuit of perfection is actually holding you back? Perfectionism is a common mindset among high-achievers, and it can manifest in various ways, often without you even realizing it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different forms of perfectionism and share insights on how to break free from this self-sabotaging mindset.

Understanding Perfectionism

Perfectionism goes beyond having high standards or expecting quality work from yourself and others. It’s a belief in the unattainable ideal of perfection, which can lead to self-doubt, fear, and stagnation.

Some common forms of perfectionism include:

  1. Fear of failure: Equating any failure with a lack of personal worth or value, leading to avoidance of risks and growth opportunities.
  2. Fear of making mistakes: Believing that mistakes equal failure, causing you to plan your life around avoiding them and missing out on valuable learning experiences.
  3. Fear of disapproval: Worrying that if anyone sees your flaws, they won’t like or respect you, leading to excessive efforts to preserve your perceived perfection.
  4. All-or-nothing thinking: Valuing only the absolute pinnacle of perfection, such as 100% on an exam or a flawless presentation, and deeming anything less as worthless.
  5. Excessive checking in: Seeking constant feedback, advice, and reassurance due to fear of messing up or not meeting expectations.
  6. Procrastination: Avoiding tasks because you fear not meeting your expectations, putting them off until it’s too late and blaming failure on running out of time.

The Impact of Perfectionism on Your Life and Career

Perfectionism can leave you feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and stuck in your career, relationships, and self-esteem. By setting impossible expectations, nothing ever measures up, and everything feels flat. It’s essential to recognize and challenge these perfectionist beliefs to unlock your full potential as a leader.

Breaking Free from Perfectionism

Embracing a more balanced and realistic mindset can lead to significant growth, learning, and fulfillment.

Here’s what you can expect when you start overcoming perfectionism:

Appreciating the best parts of people: You’ll be less likely to sabotage relationships when others don’t meet your impossible standards.

Pride in your growth: You’ll begin to appreciate mistakes as learning opportunities and value your progress.

Trying, doing, and being more: Freed from the fear of imperfection, you’ll be more willing to take risks, explore new possibilities, and reach your full potential.

Don’t let the pursuit of “perfect” keep your life and career average. It’s time to try something new, embrace the power of imperfection, and lead with authenticity and resilience. By recognizing and overcoming perfectionism, you can unlock your full potential as a woman leader and experience the growth and success you truly deserve.

Remember, imperfection isn't a weakness – it's an opportunity to learn, grow, and become the best version of yourself. So, take the first step toward a more fulfilling life and career by embracing your imperfections and giving yourself the freedom to flourish.

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