I’ve been reading a really great book on mindset. It’s called “Mindset – The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck. She outlines how people have two types of mindsets, a fixed or growth mindset. What’s fascinating is the people with the “fixed” mindset feel that being perfect equals success. They are so pre-occupied with it, they miss the chance to grow and actually be successful. In essence they get in their own way, and stay stuck while trying to reach perfection. The people with the “growth” mindset see success as a process by which they are continuously learning new things. Success to them is a journey and not measured every step of the way. These people take action and move forward.
Think about it for a second. If you’re constantly trying to be perfect in everything you do, really what you’re doing is holding yourself back from moving forward. You likely care A LOT about what others think. If this is the case, every single decision you make is based on what others might think of you. Think of your sales calls for example. If you’re on a call with a potential client and you’re more concerned with what that person thinks of you rather than how you can help them, you’re sunk! You won’t be able to properly convey to them how you can help them and what you can do for them. Instead you’re analyzing your every move for fear of being judged. This is limiting your success and business growth. It is likely showing up in all areas of your life too.
The good news is that you can change it! Just learning and knowing the two different mindsets exist has increased your awareness. You can start to see how the “fixed” mindset is actually limiting you from achieving happiness. With your newfound awareness you can start to pay attention to how this is showing-up in all areas of your life and do something about it. Take a few minutes to think about how your trying to be perfect has kept you playing small and limited your growth. Maybe you’ve wanted to have everything just right – website, business cards, tag line, marketing message, etc. – before attending those events. Sure being prepared is important, but not to the extent that you’re stuck in “perfection paralysis”. Meaning your need for perfection is keeping you stuck behind your computer fixing and fussing over every last thing, instead of doing what you need to do to grow your business – which is getting out there, and gaining visibility and traction.
The mind can be a crazy beast! It can keep you stuck and it can also move you forward. I’ve witnessed these different mindsets with my own clients. One client has fully admitted he is new to running a business and is just so eager to learn. He moved forward with all of my suggestions quickly. Another client, given the same suggestions, hums and haws over them and makes slow progress with growing her business. She is very nervous of making a mistake. You can see the first client has the growth mindset and is just interested in learning and moving forward, and not with being perfect. The second client wants everything to be perfect before getting out there and it’s actually stopping her from making progress. Pay attention to where you are doing this. Having a slight shift in perspective and the way you look at things will make all of the difference.