Is Perfectionism Stiflying Your Happiness?

Perfectionism is a modern day epidemic. It is stifling creativity, progression and productivity yet this destructive trait is often lorded as a badge of honour.

In the same way we continually boast to our friends and colleagues that we are busy, we regularly use the label ‘perfectionist’ as an oxymoron, it is both negative and positive, – we can’t seem to shake it.

My motto is “Life is a tapestry – make it colourful!”. I can’t imagine my life without my imperfections, without my failures and without the challenges that I have faced. Without them my life would be boring, there would have been not colour, no highs, no triumphs.

And the same goes for my own career.

In my sessions with my clients we often approach the subject of perfectionism and it can be confused with someone who expects quality. Perfectionism isn’t about ability or striving for greatness.

Not sure if you’re a perfectionist? Here’s a few characteristics which may ring true to you if you are:

  • You fear any form of negative feedback or criticism
  • You feel like you have to work longer hours than anyone else to demonstrate your commitment or you feel guilty leaving the office on time
  • You take a long time to complete tasks even if they are straight forward
  • You struggle to delegate because you think that only you can do it
  • There is never any periods in your life where you aren't 'busy'
  • Your way, is the only way – because it ensures perfection
  • You have lots of ideas but rarely complete them

Is it any wonder self-confessed perfectionists report feeling exhausted, reduced creativity, avoid taking risks, feel stifled and overworked.

Feeling that flush of recognition? Don’t worry. You can work on it and change things to free yourself from the constraints of perfectionism.

Whether it's work, home life or your day to day a change of mind set can help break those habits and free you from perfection.

  • Be kind to yourself – don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
  • Let go of the past! – don’t let issues from the past affect the way you approach things in the future
  • Don't give up when you make a mistake – no one has made a success of something without failing before hand
  • Change your attitude- sometimes, good, is better than perfect
  • Delegate what you can but allow others to add their own twist and approach
  • Make it your mission to see things through, one task at a time

Watch out for periods of stress that may bring back your perfectionist traits but remember as with anything, changing your behaviour is a lifelong challenge.

"Sarah is everything a successful entrepreneur should be, creative, tenacious with a clear vision on how to develop her business. She never ceases to impress me with her energy, attention to detail and most importantly, is always comfortable leading from the front with her hands on management style..."

Nick Holmes - Former MD at Rockliffe Hall, Non Executive Director positions at Gisborough Hall, Swinton Estate and Ramside Hall

"Having set up my business when I was 23, Sarah's advice and experiences in the wedding industry were a vital part in the success of my Simply Bows and Chair Covers franchise. As a franchisor, Sarah has always been on the other end of the phone to help me with my dilemmas and pass on her experience and business advice..."

Joanne Smith - Simply Bows and Chair Covers Lancashire

"Sarah was asked to support the wedding product here. Right from the first meeting she was professional, personable and down to earth. She found out as much information as possible, including attending events to get a feel for our product first hand and give her the best insight..."

Ruairidh Taylor - Hotel Manager, Gisborough Hall Hotel

"I hope our paths cross again before too long because I think you’re a brilliant example to budding doubters like me and a flipping great individual too! Thanks again for the inspiration you are and always be aware that folks like me, who’ve had the good fortune to meet you, are better for it..."

Alan Green - Corporate Photographer

"Sarah is an extremely good listener and will look at projects from all angles and give help and advice from her perspective.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Sarah as a mentor and indeed will be back in touch with her soon with regards to my next business venture..."

Katie Lindsay-Brown

"I was so inspired by Sarah’s story, where she had been, what she had endured and the phenomenal success she made Simply Bows and Chair Covers I just knew I had to be a part of this great business model.
I have now been running my franchise for the last 4 years and I love it. Sarah is very supportive, knowledgeable and I know if I need advice she will always be there..."

Adele - Simply Bows & Chair Covers, South Wales

"I joined the team at Simply Bows & Chair Covers Northumberland in 2015, this was a big step for me but Sarah gave me some good advice and lots of support. This was the best move I made and I have not looked back. Thanks to Sarah's guidance and time that she has invested in me, I feel stronger and more confident not only in my work but in life in general..."

Debbie - Simply Bows & Chair Covers, Northumberland