Whether your dream is a creative endeavor, or some other product or service that keeps you up at night, chasing that dream is hard. There is no other way to put it.
You’ll want to give up and never look back on more than one occasion. But something just won’t let you. No matter how exhausted you are.
So what do you do when your dream won’t die, AND you’re at a standstill?
You ask yourself some tough questions about your process.
And not the blanket pull your hair out while screaming, “What am I doing wrong?” type questions. I mean really take a look at what you ARE and ARE NOT doing.
When I did this, I started by journaling my tasks on a given day, including start and stop times. And in doing this I realized that I was doing all kinds of STUFF. But the problem was I was DOING THEM TO DEATH.
For example, I didn’t just add a new page to my website; I changed, rearranged, organized and reorganized until hours had passed and I hadn’t left square one.
So while I was “working” I wasn’t making any progress. And I saw this across the board- no matter the task or how large or small it was.
And that’s when it became clear to me, that I was on a quest for perfection with every single action I took. But this silly quest was causing me to waste time, grow more and more frustrated and leaving me discouraged in the process.
But how could I get out of the habit hole I’d dug for myself?
I needed to figure out why my standard of completion was perfection and by whose definition was something perfect.
So I did some free writing and mind mapping to clear my head and in the process, I uncovered my new favorite declaration.
And just like that, IT was a thing; A thing that I could more productively strive for. A thing that would help me get out of my own way, and get to the people who needed my information.
I needed to figure out why I was spending so much time on perfection-chasing busy work in the first place?
My answers were FEAR and LACK OF CONFIDENCE.
These insecurities sent me on a useless quest for perfection that ate up my time, energy, progress and DREAMS.
You read right.
Fear and lack of confidence are more than capable of stopping progress. This is no secret at all, but while I was on the lookout for these blatant offenders, I completely overlooked them in their crafty “Myth of Perfection” disguise.
But now that I had them in my sights, I had to figure out the next steps in the process to get them out of my mind and out of my way.
My process and mindset worked hand in hand and I needed to change both. There was no way around it. And the only way to do this was to embrace that I amPerfectly Imperfect-and that no one expects me to be perfect, not even the very one who created me.
So why did I have this totally paralyzing and unrealistic idea that everything I was and everything I did had to be perfect?
Because it was a lie that those wolves in sheep’s clothing (fear and lack of confidence) had fed me, for far too long. And this idea that started out as a seed had taken root and blossomed into a belief – one that got me nowhere fast.
The next question I asked myself was “If I wasn’t chasing perfection, if the thought never crossed my mind, what would my passion drive me to complete?”
I started looking at everything with fresh eyes. I listed every project, every task – everything. And they all had something in common. They were unfinished. That’s right, business improving tools, articles, strategies, and courses that the world needed were just abandoned.
While it was sad to see so many half done projects, I now had a clear list of work that really needed my attention. From that list, I pulled out the exact items that I was stuck on and began to build a schedule. The schedule had 2 specific requirements. It had to be realistic and only list 1 task to complete per day or time frame.
I worked to complete tasks and projects that had fallen by the wayside. And with each item I checked off my list I gained a new level of momentum. And my focus turned from perfection to passion which is so much more fruitful.
Passion helps people, not chasing the myth of perfection.
I was able to overcome mindset blocks and take productive action by following these 5 steps:
Step 1: Identify the details of your process
Get into the details of what you do and work on a daily basis. What’s your process? Do you have a schedule? Set business hours? Do you set deadlines? Do you multi-task?
Answering all of these questions will help you identify what your time is spent doing.
Step 2: Determine if your process is productive or pointless. And why?
In my case, I was in busywork overload, but I wasn’t completing half as many things as I started. So my activities as a whole were pointless. And the drive behind these time wasting tasks started with fear and lack of confidence.
Step 3: What projects or tasks have you been struggling to complete?
Gather a list of projects that you constantly work on, but still fail to complete no matter how many times it changes, updates or transitions. Listing these projects or task that have fallen victim to your quest for perfection will serve as a helpful visual reference of all the things that have fallen by the wayside because they were not some level of perfect.
Step 4: What aspect of each project did you believe was imperfect?
Take a look at the list you created in the previous step and determine the hurdle you faced on each. This will expand your list of perfection pain points and really flesh out stuck points that you will need to push through to complete the project.
Step 5: Set a schedule dedicating 1 day to work on and complete each task – And stick to it!
Using your list of stuck points, set a realistic schedule focused on pushing through and completing tasks or projects that have been looming over you. Don’t focus on them being perfect, or compare them to the work of others or even your own previous works.
Now it’s your turn!
Work through the steps and uproot the negative mindset habits of perfection that are draining your process and leaving your projects unfinished. Remember, the goal is to focus on passion and get the work done!
Originally posted on The Huffington post on 06/29/2016
About this posts author:
Tesa Colvin is an Author, Escape Plan Clarity Coach and Business Development Strategist. She coaches passionate solo-prenuers, who desire FREEDOM and SUCCESS in their business and lives.
Through tailored coaching and strategy sessions, she helps entrepreneurs not just set goals, but develop effective plans that help them to be and stay focused and empowered as they build and monetize their business. Tesa’s mission is to FREE entrepreneurs from the self-sabotage of trying to do it like everyone else, by encouraging and empowering these DREAMERS to focus on their own vision and version of success.
And when she’s not helping people find success their way, you can find her tucked away in a quiet space creating words, worlds and characters, or having a Michael Jackson sing off with both her teen daughters while her husband and 2 fur babies watch in horror.