You may have heard me talk about high standards before. That high standards AND fun is a possible combination. Here’s an important distinction: high standards have NOTHING to do with perfectionism. You can’t be a perfectionist and have fun. Happiness and perfectionism don’t go hand in hand.
If you’re proudly presenting yourself as a perfectionist, it may be best to stop reading right now. If it’s working for you, don’t change it, rock on!
IF for some crazy reason you have realised it may be about time to let go of some of that perfectionism – keep reading.
In business and life, high standards are amazing, they keep you, the team, the clients, the family and everybody else on their toes. But most often, there is no added value continuing the trajectory from high standards to perfectionism. Most often, it detracts value instead.
If you’re right now wondering: what is she talking about? I let myself down constantly, there is just one broken promise after the other. Then your focus for the next month is simple: pick one daily standard to get you started and stick to it. The simple example is “I need to exercise more”. If you then go all-in, wanting to get active every day of the week, the chances you’ll not keep it going are high. If you instead set a minimum standard that seems doable and reasonable – let’s say walk minimum 2 times a week – you are more likely to be setting yourself up to succeed for the long term. Another standard could be giving yourself 5 min in peace every morning with a cup of tea. It doesn’t matter which area you pick or which standard you choose, do you get that? It’s all about showing yourself you can set a standard and stick to it.
And now back to all of you perfectionists out there: pick one standard to let go of or to lower. Keep the high standards in areas of your life that are really important to you. For other areas, let go! This will feel wrong, you will already be trying to wriggle yourself out of it – seriously afraid that the world around you will fall apart if you start loosening the control. Trust me: it’s worth it!
For the last 20 years, I have not had high standards on housekeeping, cooking and many other areas. But my education, learning, work, creative outlets and performing YES! For the family, my high standards are in how we connect, talk to each other and support each other’s focus. Not for a perfectly clean house including the kids’ rooms, or for which marks they get (as long as they apply themselves). And then you set up support systems to keep some minimum standards – for us, this, for example, is our fortnightly cleaner, which means that we all at least bi-weekly have to clear our rooms.
Which areas of your business or life are not working? Which areas of perfectionism could you start releasing? Where could you swap the perfectionism for more achievable standards to get everyone along on the journey and start building up the standards?
Keep it simple. Make it easy for yourself and everyone around you to succeed.
Are you ready for some very advanced coaching regarding perfectionism? Just stop it! Puncture the perfectionism and apply high standards instead. Happy New Year. It may actually be within your reach.