Ep 16 | Fighting Perfection
Do you battle with perfectionism? Then this episode is for you! I'd love to hear in the comments below what your biggest struggle with perfectionism is!
Today we're talking perfectionism. Wouldn't it be lovely to live in a world where everything comes out perfectly! Unfortunately, that's not reality.
Today, I'm joined by Trish Wilkinson, a book author that helps kids K-5 with the tools to be the best versions of themselves. She has learned a lot along the way personally and professionally in combating perfectionism.
I first met Trish when she was a guest on my podcast with my daughter, Conversations with My Daughter. We were discussing anxiety in kids and tools that can be utilized to help! And it really got me thinking that this is something the plagues adults as well, and understanding how to combat it can be essential in helping us grow our businesses.
Q: Brain Stages is focused on the K-5 age group, but do you think anxiety and perfectionism carry through to adulthood?
A: Yes, absolutely! Perfectionism is developed when we're little and if we don't address it, it can get worst. As my husband always says, “Perfection is the enemy of the good.” If you keep trying for perfection then nothing will get done.
I've had to create blocks of time to do things and no matter what I'm going to do that project in that time. And no matter where I'm at, I work during that time and then when the alarm goes off I go to the net thing.
There are so many distractions and you want to fine-tune everything and you don't get anything else done.
I determine what needs to be done at the beginning of the day.
At the end of the day I asses what I got done!
Q: How did you come up with the activities and ways to structure your schedule that worked for you to be the most productive?
A: I got the idea from my friend. She shared with me the Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt.
It helps me set up specific blocks of time and goals at the beginning of the week. What are the 3 most important things you want to get done that week? What are the 3 most important things you want to get done that day? And it also gives you a place to write down your easy to-dos.
Having some structure helps keep me focused. I don't get as much done without that structure.
Q (Sami): How can you combat perfection?
A (Trish): I've been working on that my entire life. I've realized that if I wait for things to be perfect then nothing will happen.
I used to sweat the small stuff. Perfectionism is a defense mechanism so we don't have to step outside and take the risk.
Our fears of failure come into play. And no matter how perfect we think it's going to be, it still won't be perfect. Especially in the beginning, there will be mistakes. And they are a good thing because they help us to know what not to do next time. Sometimes we pay a little bit for those mistakes but it all works out in the long run.
With every workshop I run, I learn how to make them better and more engaging. If I hadn't started somewhere and just got it going I wouldn't be where I'm at now.
Other people are less judgemental than we think. It's just our perception and fear. Imposter syndrome also comes into play. We doubt ourselves for whatever reason.
Q (Sami): Do you think it's worse now that so much training is happening online? What is my makeup isn't perfect, or my lighting or my tech fails?
A: (Trish)I think it's more that when you do things live, you're on the fly. It just is what it is. But when you can look at a video later and be hypercritical about everything little thing – even though no one else notices it. You notice it because you're you. You catch things that people don't care about. And it's ok to watch because you learn and improve but we play it back too many times.
(Sami) Now that its easier to go live, people crave authenticity. They don't want the super-polished videos. They want to make real connections.
(Trish) We used to want to copy what was happening on TV and emulate that perfection. Now that things are changing and the staffing and equipment are different from what's on tv it's more apparent what the difference is.
Q (Sami): How do you deal with the critics or naysayers?
A (Trish): You have to remind yourself to remember the positives and not let the negatives outweigh your feedback.
Quiet the little voice in your head about the one comment that's negative. Most people are really grateful and thankful for what you share.
(Sami) It's also about comparing yourself that are a few years ahead of you. You see how well they're doing and wonder why you're not there already. They've put in the time and you're just getting started. Be comfortable where you're at.
If you don't take action today, then you'll never get to the place where the people you're comparing yourself to are now.
Do you want to be plagued by perfectionism? Do you want to constantly compare yourself to others? Or do you want to blaze your own path?
(Trish) I go in and out of that. Sometimes I have bad days and I ask myself why I'm doing what I'm doing. But I sleep on it, and wake up fresh and continue to move forward. This too shall pass. I'm going to give myself a moment and then move on.
Q (Sami): When you're in a rut or having a bad day, what are some things you do to pull yourself back into the goals you have?
A (Trish): Walk away! I'll tell my dog, Alice, it's time to go around the block. I even do this in the winter when it's snowing!
It usually clears my head enough to start again.
Sometimes I'll take my computer to another place in my house to change the scenery.
Q (Sami): Equally important, how do you celebrate your wins?
A (Trish): Definitely! But if I'm on a roll I don't stop. If I'm having a really good day and something major comes together it gives me the energy to get the next thing and the next thing done.
At the end of the day, I'll take some time to celebrate with my husband and go for a bike ride or find a reward or fun thing to do.
It doesn't always happen right after the win because I want to keep that momentum.
Trish's final thoughts.
Comparison is dangerous. It's one thing to look at someone we admire and take steps and learn from them. But we can't compare ourselves to other people. And this doesn't just extend to business.
We need to celebrate our wins. Appreciate what others do and learn from them.
Give yourself reminders all the time. STOP IT! Push publish when you feel you've done your best. Humans are perfect. We aren't even nice to perfect people.
Mistakes are how we learn. If you aren't willing to make mistakes then you'll never grow. It's such an important lesson we can emulate for our kids.
(3:03) Do anxiety/perfectionism issues affect kids only – or do they progress into adulthood?
(3:48) Creating blocks of time to get things done.
(4:50) Determining at the beginning of the day what you want to get done.
(5:12) How did you come up with your schedule for being the most productive?
(7:03) Let's talk about perfection!
(13:07) Do you think it's worse now with people teaching online, people are more concerned about putting themselves out there?
(14:56) Now that its easier to go live, people want authenticity.
(16:29) Imposter Syndrome
(22:09) What do you do to come out of a funk?
(23:34) Do you also take time to celebrate wins?
(25:22) Comparison is dangerous
Co-Author, Brain Stages: How to Raise Smart, Confident Kids and Have Fun Doing It, K-5