It's extremely difficult to manage personal expectations of perfection. Over the years I have personally suffered hugely from the need to be perfect in all areas of my life, often reaching the end of a week exhausted, dead on my feet and mentally weak. Over the years, I have been coached to understand that my 80% may well be someone else's perfect, or indeed my 50% might be someone's perfect. This has been the game changer in ensuring I am the best and strongest I can be in all parts of my life.
Unfortunately in a society where perfection is encouraged (exams, results, exams, results, repeat, repeat) there are plenty of other ways people experience negativity in the search for perfection, so here's a few pointers to help:
1. Believe in yourself - you deserve to be at the table
You're applying for a dream job and (wahoo!) you've secured an interview...but now you're questioning yourself, your ability. Why did they ask you for an interview? You probably won't get the job anyway?
STOP with the negativity, this is the fastest way to failure
If you suffer from Imposter Syndrome take a read of this fantastic article. I promise it will help.
2. Learn to compromise with yourself.
Ask yourself, 'what level of perfection am I willing to tolerate?' Remember, lowering your personal standards does not mean that you have no standards. You need to create realistic standards that do not force you to compromise other elements of your life (your family, friends and relationships). This is something you'll need to work on daily, but it will help you feel more in control and more energised.
3. Hey, it's okay to ask for help.
I've been talking about this quite a bit on social media recently; why you shouldn't be scared to ask for help. In the midst of this crisis, where we are all feeling lost and often unhopeful, people are always more than willing to offer a helping hand or a word of advice. Remember, the worst thing someone can say to you is no. If you've just been made redundant and need some help from professionals, the outplacement services offer a huge variety of support.
4. Building self-confidence
The reason that you worry about perfection might be because you're scared that no matter how much work you put in, when you click send, it still won't be good enough. The phrase 'I can only do my best', has negative connotations too, because your 'best' isn't working a million hours a week. Pushing yourself too hard will not get you the results you desire, it will burn you out. Here is some NHS advice on how to raise your self-esteem and help you acknowledge that what you do is more than enough.
5. Stop and celebrate
I am terrible at this. When I ran my first business, we'd work for months to secure a new client, win, have 5 minutes to celebrate and then get our heads down delivering the work. On reflection it was bad for my team and even worse for me as a business owner.
So remember to celebrate everything you achieve. Maybe with a few hours off, a little glass of wine, a spot of shopping or whatever it is that keeps those positive feelings running through you...one day hopefully it will be a trip to the theatre or a gig!