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Another “P” Word You Must Avoid

Last week I received a fantastic response to my thoughts on Procrastination and the negative impact procrastination can have on your sales success,your business — and life in general. Defeating procrastination will make it much easier for you to get started on those tasks, projects and general ‘stuff’ you’ve been putting off.

BUT…what about those jobs and other things you do where you can’t seem to STOP?

Another ‘P’ please!

Perfectionism! How guilty are you? Where does your perfectionist streak negatively impact on your results? Why, when you see the light at the end of your tunnel, do you insist on going out and building more tunnel?

If you ‘suffer’ from perfectionism, be under no illusion that it really will be holding you back just as much as last week’s theme, procrastination.

Where does perfectionism come from?

Perfection comes with a heady brew of potential causes. If you’re a perfectionist then you’re probably an ‘all or nothing’ person, who believes something is worthless if it’s not perfect. The word ‘should’ probably dominates your world. You’ll have a long list of shoulds which form the rules for how to live your life. Fear of failure could be right up there too, alongside fear of making mistakes. Fear of disapproval too rears its head too, because perfection is a way of warding off disapproval, rejection and criticism.

Finally, perfectionists often think that others achieve success easily and with a minimum of effort, whilst they see their own efforts as unending and forever inadequate.

Ring any bells?

Conquering perfectionism

The first thing is to accept that perfectionism is an illusion that is unattainable. There — I’ve said it! In any case remember that if you have perfectionist tendencies, your 80% is probably everyone else’s 100%.

Here are a few tips to try…

1) Make sure your goals are reachable — and based on your wants and needs.

2) When you start to feel anxious about the terms you’ve set for the task in hand, ask yourself…”Have I set up impossible expectations for myself in this situation?”

3) Experiment with your standards for success. On a given activity, instead of aiming for 100%, try for 90%, 80%. You’ll soon find out that the world does not end when you are not perfect.

4) Confront perfectionism head on. Ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” and “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Be honest.

5) Accept that many positive things are learned only by making mistakes. When you make a mistake ask yourself “What can I learn here?” — and make a list of your answers.

6) Restructure your goals away from the ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Prioritise them — and on the less important goals, put in less effort.

Perfection according to whom?

Seeking excellence is one thing; never finding anything totally satisfactory is another. It may serve you better to decide that a particular project or undertaking is complete. At some point you’ve got to say, “This is good. This is enough.”

If you cannot do this, you will never get anything done – and that is the opposite of what you want.

If these words have struck a chord with you, make today the day you change.

Contact me by email if you have any more questions or comments on perfectionism.

Until next time.


About the author

Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy

Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.

The World of Sales is changing.

Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.

My approach takes your sales team through a process that:

* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales

And at a higher level…

* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales

Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.

– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking