Barriers To Action Part IV originally from September 7th, 2018 FPC Newsletter
Written by Dr. Ky Carlson
Barriers To Action Part IV
We’ve been discussing Barriers to Action and how they can affect us in our personal growth and in our professional growth.. In part 1, we said that fear can hold us back from taking action and that we need to develop courage to conquer fear. Part 2 looked at how overanalyzing the situation and facts can get us stuck in paralysis by analysis. The solution is to develop the habit of being decisive. Don’t allow the fear of making the wrong decision to paralyze you. We encouraged you to analyze the facts you have, make a decision, and begin taking action one step at a time. Lastly, in part 3, we discussed the victim mentality. With this, a person is always blaming others or their circumstances for their lack of action, productivity, and success. You can overcome this by taking responsibility for what happened and recognizing that YOU have the power to do what’s necessary to make it better next time. It’s about making sure that you are not giving that power away to someone or something else. Let go of the past, learn from it, and take steps to make it better next time. All of these have been invaluable in taking the action that leads to success.
But perhaps something else is holding you back. Let’s look at another issue that can be a barrier to action. This potential issue is referred to as perfectionism.
Perfectionism is something that I’ve been guilty of a lot in my life. I grew up with a dad that was very driven and also very involved in my life. I love my dad and I’m very thankful for his influence in my life both then and now. He was very supportive of everything I did, but because he’s very driven, many times my response to his constant drive was to expect perfection from myself. Sometimes a good result wasn’t good enough because it wasn’t perfect. I remember being upset that I got a 98 instead of 100 on a test. In basketball, I would shoot and I would make the shot, but I wouldn’t be satisfied because I didn’t have perfect form. That kind of perfectionism can actually hold a person back and it can have a detrimental effect on a person’s success.
The point of my story is this: if we have perfectionism in our lives in regards to our business, then we will never be satisfied with our results because we’re rarely going to be perfect. We will, as a result, continually beat ourselves down and we will focus on the negative. If we closed 9 out of 20 for the dinner talk, we’ll focus on the 11 we didn’t close instead of the 9. We will beat ourselves up to a point where we struggle to accomplish any good because our minds our so poisoned by perfectionism that our results suffer even more. We live life never satisfied with a good result or even a great result. We will focus on the 20% of the patients who don’t do as good, compared to the 80% that are doing amazing. It beats us down and holds us back! Sometimes, we have to learn to be content with our results.
Just to be clear, this is not an excuse not to grow personally and improve in business. We have to find the balance. While we want to achieve and strive for excellence, excellence and perfection are NOT the same thing. Perfectionism is the extreme side of striving for excellence that will make it feel like you can never be good enough. Eventually, perfectionism is going to cause you to have a constant internal turmoil full of doubts and questioning that will actually keep you from being able to do your best. It will even keep you from taking action. Perfectionism will cause you to be less successful. It will hold you back in your success because of the negative mindset. We’re all going to make mistakes. Any successful person will tell you that they make mistakes daily. The important question is do you learn from your mistakes and do they help you to improve and gain excellence? A perfectionist will beat themselves up over mistakes, will continue to overanalyze mistakes, which will continue to keep them from allowing themselves to build and grow in a way that is helpful and beneficial.
I believe a balance is to focus and work to do the best that you can. Then, learn to accept the results, learn what you can, and continue to move forward. You have to accept that mistakes are going to happen and you’ve got to be willing to and able to “forgive” yourself for not being perfect. Give yourself enough slack to celebrate your successes and to move forward by growing from the failures. It’s sad to see so many people keep a running account of every mistake they’ve made. If you did that to someone else, you would very quickly become embittered against them. And truth be told, we become embittered against ourselves and our failures. Yet bitterness, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is like drinking poison and not expecting to suffer and die. In the end, the poison of perfection is going to harm you and “kill” your potential.
Remember, John Maxwell says that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. Your response is what matters when you make mistakes or experience failure. Listen to how one of the greatest, if not the greatest basketball players of all time responded to failure. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and I’ve missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that’s why I succeed.”
No matter where you are right now, learn from the “shots” you’ve missed. Learn from the failures. Get back up. Strive for excellence, and do your best, and you will accomplish more by continuing to take action, one action at a time.
Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionism will eventually lead you into being paralyzed in fear because you can’t be perfect. Strive for excellence, not perfection. Remember, we are here for you every step of the way!