As creatives, we often fall into the trap of postponing opportunities and stalling our business progress in the name of achieving that “perfect” standard. We may laugh it off or even try to turn it into a strength, but perfectionism can be a silent enemy, sabotaging business success. As creatives, we often impose this high standard on ourselves, not realizing that it might actually be hindering our progress.
Perfectionism’s Many Faces
In our pursuit of perfection, we often overlook the fact that perfectionism has different dimensions that can affect us in various ways. There are three primary types of perfectionism: self-oriented, where you impose an overwhelming desire for perfection on yourself, other-oriented, where you project these unrealistic standards onto others, and socially-prescribed, where you perceive that others have these expectations of you.
Furthermore, there are also two dimensions of perfectionism that can be detrimental to your business. The first is perfectionistic striving, which involves setting very high personal standards. Although this can sometimes motivate you to work harder, it can also cause you to procrastinate or delay tasks because you fear that you won’t be able to meet these high standards. The second dimension, perfectionistic concern, revolves around worrying about making mistakes, fearing negative evaluations from others, and doubting the quality of your own actions. Each of these components of perfectionism can be damaging in its own way, potentially hindering your progress and causing you unnecessary stress.
Identify the Areas That Your Perfectionism Affects
Take a moment to look around: perfectionism can lurk in various aspects of your business, from your logo design, website, business cards, to photography. We often wait for the ‘perfect’ opportunity or the ‘perfect’ design, not realizing that this waiting game is costing us time, money, and opportunities. I have seen plenty of clients who let perfectionism become a roadblock to their success, and trust me, it’s not a pleasant sight.
However, the danger doesn’t stop there. Perfectionism can also lead to procrastination. Waiting for everything to be ‘perfect’ before you take the next step can delay your progress, sometimes indefinitely. Setting realistic and flexible goals, committing 100% to your business, sourcing effectively, and building meaningful connections with your clients are some strategies to overcome this. Plus, it’s okay to be bad at something until you get good at it! That’s how you grow!
When you’re ready to take your design practice to the next level, explore your expert coaching and training options with Melissa Galt. To catch the entire podcast episode LISTEN HERE.