This one is a game changer when you get it right and a game killer if you get it wrong. This month we’re talking about mindset, because learning to manage our mind is so important. Perfectionism is a mindset that needs to be altered to ensure our long-term success. But it’s sneaky and it creeps up from time-to-time.
Can you remember the last person who remarked, “I’m such a perfectionist.” And you’re just not quite sure whether they mean that in a good way or a bad way. It’s sneaky – somehow we know it’s not helpful and yet we wear it as a badge of honor. I wanted everything to be perfect for a long time – and even worse, I think I wanted it to LOOK perfect. And it was exhausting.
What I recommend is a shift from intensive, perfectionistic thinking to consistency. How consistent can you be with:
Your presence at home?
Your focus at work?
The state of your home?
Your commitment to your health?
Your service to others?
In all of these areas, consistency trumps perfection every time. How do you set your expectations within reason so that you can keep all the balls in the air? I’ve never been a fan of the saying, ”You can’t have it all,” or it’s stepsister, “You can have it all, just not all at the same time.” I don’t believe that’s true. What isn’t possible is an idealized vision of perfection in every area.
Often perfectionism pops up in the “SHOULDS”. I should tidy up. I should get the kids off their devices. I should respond to all those emails. I should take the dog for a walk. I should, I should, I should. Reframe as “I choose to” or “I get to” and see if it still fits.
I choose to tidy up? Maybe that comes off the list.
I choose to get the kids off their devices? Yes, because maybe today it’s best for them.
I get to respond to all those emails? Not a chance.
I get to take the dog for a walk? Yes!
Here’s a recent example from my life: I have a daughter that’s a dancer. Her studio wanted to do some photos for marketing purposes and they asked the dancers to wear white dresses or dancewear. We had two weeks to find something so I ordered two sundresses and 3 dancewear outfits online. It was late Fall, so shopping wasn’t an option. I intended to keep one item and return those that didn’t work. So, the dresses arrived – one too small and one way too big – so I set them aside. The dancewear arrived and I was hopeful, as I liked one of these outfits best. They were all a total trainwreck! The morning of the photo shoot was a disaster. My perfectionism kicked in. We kept trying to force the dancewear and it just wasn’t happening. So, we put on the too big dress and pinned it in the back. It didn’t look great, as it gapped in the front, but it worked for the purpose. I didn’t love the look but I kept reminding myself I’d done all I could. I’d spent as much time as I had available for this task trying to get it right. I’d ordered many items and I’d tried to make a combo that worked, it just didn’t happen this time. Was I consistent in trying? Yes. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Did I manage this in my list of priorities? Yep. Did it work out fine? It did.
Where do you need to lay down the perfectionism? And where can you seek consistency instead and do what’s important.
STOP 'SHOULDING' YOURSELF AND CHOOSE
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I founded Mom Mastermind to create the coaching and community that I desired when I was advancing my career. During my time with a large consulting firm and as Senior Vice President and CFO for a large company, I craved a network of women in similar life stages to learn from and connect with. We bring indivdiual working moms together to connect, lift each other up and propel one another forward as we redefine joy in career AND motherhood.
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