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Perfectionism is Not Your Friend: Doing Less Really is More

News alert: perfectionism is not your friend.

Perfectionism will tell you need to do more, more and more. It will tell you that you’re not good enough, but maybe you will be if you just push yourself a little bit harder.

The reality is, doing more doesn’t always lead to achieving more or having more. Anyone who’s ever been burnt out will tell you this. You can be incredibly busy, running in a million directions all at the same time, and at the end of the day look back and say, ‘I’m exhausted and I have no idea what my purpose is.’

Sometimes you gotta slow down before you can speed up.

And sometimes you simply need to take on less stuff. I’m continually meeting high-achieving people who seem to believe they have limitless capacity.

I get it. I used to believe that too. You keep adding more and more stuff into your work life and home life, but you can’t figure out why you’re still unsatisfied.

I’ll tell you why: you are exceeding your capacity. As talented and powerful as you are, you’re still human. You need downtime. You need room to breathe. And yes, sometimes you need fewer things to do in a day. There’s no shame in that.

Where did anyone ever get the idea that as you move through adulthood you can just keep piling on more and more responsibilities...and somehow you’ll continually expand your capacity to handle it all?

It’s a lie.

I’m not saying ‘you can’t have it all.’ I’m saying you can’t have it all at the same time. Life is a highway, people. Let it unfold gradually rather than trying to pile everything at once.

Perhaps the most classic example of this is the high-achiever who becomes a parent for the first time. Now operating on little to no sleep with the joy, stress, and chaos that comes with having a newborn, our achiever now wants to land a promotion at work and berates herself/himself for not working out as frequently.

When a major life change happens, be compassionate with yourself. As you take on more in one part of your life, let up on yourself in another part for a while. This doesn’t mean you disregard your career and your personal health if you have a child, for example. It just means you may need to adjust your expectations of yourself.

The myth of perfectionism is that you’re giving all of yourself to everything you do. The reality is you’re spinning your wheels doing too many things and no aspect of your life is experienced fully. And that’s not thriving.

The thing I want you to consider is: sometimes less really is more.

Need to unhook from perfection. Check out Lisa’s book LEAD.


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