I have a confession to make. I am a recovering perfectionist. It has been 3 years, 7 months, 2 weeks and 3 days since I last did anything 100% perfect……
What is the significance of the timing? Well that’s when I started becoming successful.
To hear my full confession and the 2 big (but very simple) things I did to break my addictive perfectionist habit, take 4 minutes to watch this video below. I’d love to hear your comments. They don’t have to be perfect 🙂
Janet’s 12 Step Program For Recovering Perfectionists
This program is based, very loosely, on the 12 step program from Alcoholics Anonymous. In true recovered perfectionist style I wrote the headline and made the video before I had worked out what the 12 steps are. It just sounded like a good idea.
So here goes…..
Step 1: Acknowledge that perfectionism is a disease you suffer and your life has a permanent handbrake on because of it
Step 2: Acknowledge that most people are too wrapped up in their own lives to really notice too many details about yours.
Step 3: Accept that what you may consider a half-done job and no-where near as good as you can do, with heaps of steps missing, and glaring unprofessional gaps, and embarrassing mistakes, and leaving yourself wide open to criticism and such a bad hair day and……….. other people think is actually pretty good.
Step 4: Make a commitment to yourself that this is your year for taking imperfect action
Step 5: Tell 3 people that this is your year for taking imperfect action
Step 6: Write the phrase “Count to 3 and jump on 2” in thick texta and stick it near your work-space (close to where you can see it all the time, like on your computer)
Step 7: Go to your nearest pool. Stand on the high board. It has to make you a bit nervous, so whether it is high or the water is really cold or some sort of similar situation. The idea is find a situation where you have to jump off an edge, you will be perfectly safe when you land, but the act of jumping is scarey.
Step 8: Stand on the end, count slowly to 3 and, without thinking too much, jump on 2.
Step 9: Repeat step 8 over and over again until you can jump on 2 without really only counting to 2 in your head.
Step 10: Teach another person how to jump on 2. This will help you own this solution and the act of teaching others is one of the most powerful ways for you to see, from the outside, that others have the same struggles as you and if you can help them, well you can help yourself.
Step 11: Set a tight deadline to do something you have been procrastinating over and announce the deadline publicly (you can do that here if you like). You need to tell someone and ask them to keep you accountable.
Step 12: Meet that deadline no matter what. Accept no excuses from yourself and accept that to meet that deadline you will probably have to do only a fraction (probably 80%) of what you would like to do. But do it anyway.
Step 13: (OK so this is a baker’s dozen) Congratulate yourself on actually doing something you have put off for ages. You can watch this short video if you like on the very clever way I use to celebrate that is a lot of fun.
Now don’t be tempted to then stuff around for ages making your 80% project 100% perfect. You can tweak it a little but never. ever try top make it perfect. While you’re doing that your next project is lying dormant, nagging you at the back of your mind and wearing down your confidence.
Rinse and Repeat.
I’d love to hear your comments below. They don’t have to be perfect.