lady on computer pinching the bridge of her nose, self-doubt

The Art of ‘Good Enough’: Strategies for Overcoming Perfectionism

In my Confidence Catalyst Programme, we are working with Positive Intelligence® to uncover our ‘gremlins.’ Find out which inner saboteurs are holding you back here. This week, I’m looking at the Stickler gremlin. 

By giving up your ‘stickler’ tendencies you can alleviate unnecessary stress and foster productivity. Discover strategies for overcoming perfectionism to strike a harmonious balance in both your organisation and sense of order.

Perfectionism: The Pros and Cons

‘Sticklers’ are known for their high principles and ideals. This means they are often able to bring organisation and order to ambiguity and chaos – again, a key skill in this uncertain age. 

An AI specialist client of mine, Edwina, had a reputation for ‘bringing order amongst chaos.’ It was actually what her employer, themselves operating in an uncertain and ever-changing environment, was seeking when they recruited her. 

Indeed, this principled focus on the ‘right way’ to do things means ‘sticklers’ are respected by many. Because it had served her so well, overcoming perfectionism was hard. However, as she progressed her career, she knew she couldn’t sustain the level of effort it required. 

Sticklers seem: 

  1. Perfectionists – believe ‘I need to be better than others, so things get done!’
  2. Highly detail oriented – believe ‘I can and should always improve.’
  3. Methodical – bring order to chaos
  4. Highly critical – ‘If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t do it at all.’ 
  5. Tense – highly sensitive to criticism
  6. Opinionated – believe ‘right is right and wrong is wrong. I know the right way.’
  7. Sarcastic – believe ‘I’m the only adult in the house!’
  8. Resentful of ‘sloppiness and laziness’ – no one ever can live up to such high standards

Overcoming Perfectionism

Sticklers, like Edwina, often work overtime to make up for the mistakes they see around them, however small, in others. Not always a popular move. 

As a partial stickler myself, I recognise the constant frustration and disappointment with self and others for not living up to my over-idealised, yet unrealistic standards. This is common for many of my Confidence Catalyst clients. Getting help on the laundry, making dinner, or anything else within ‘their domain’ can feel huge! In myself, I can hear the sarcastic or self-righteous overtones I have. But, for me and other Sticklers, all this leads to frustration and resentment. Overcoming perfectionism is important in maintaining relationships and helps you see what really matters. 

For those who live or work with a Stickler, perhaps like Edwina, you’ll know it means they can come across as rigid or inflexible. After all this gremlin causes resentment, anxiety, self-doubt, and resignation in everyone around them. 

After all, they feel continually criticised and resign themselves that no matter how hard they work they will never please the Stickler. The trouble is that ‘order and perfection’ is always fleeting. Overcoming perfectionism, as unattainable as it is, is the only sane way forward. 

How Could Your Perfectionism Affect Others?

Within the executive coaching, as Edwina learned to relax into things being ‘good enough,’ her relationships improved. Equally importantly, people sought her advice earlier on – which meant she had ‘fewer messes to later clean up,’ as she termed it. This was an unexpected win, as she’d initially been focused on her stress levels. Taking that step turned out to mean she could also be easier on everyone else, which paid dividends for everyone!

Ask yourself: 

  1. When does ‘good enough’ suffice? 
  2. Who, besides you, also struggles with the brutality of your Stickler? 
  3. Let’s imagine you could be perfect. What would the problems be around that?

If you’re interested in what my Confidence Catalyst programme could offer you or your team, get in touch!

Overcoming Perfectionism: Finding Balance in Organisation
Article Name
Overcoming Perfectionism: Finding Balance in Organisation
Discover strategies for overcoming perfectionism to strike a harmonious balance in organisation and order. Learn to alleviate unnecessary stress and foster productivity.
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InclusIQ Ltd.
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