Self care is a very popular phrase amongst entrepreneurs. We hear a lot about physical care. Sleep well, drink enough water, eat a healthy diet.
Of course, our physical health is very important, but we often neglect our mental and emotional care. For a business owner, it’s crucial to stay emotionally healthy and learn to forgive ourselves.
For a very long time, I thought everything had to be perfect. Before I presented a project, sent an important email, or posted online, I needed the content to be flawless. Every spelling error needed to be caught, all the punctuation quadruple checked, all the formatting and grammar had to be perfect. Sometimes I would get so overwhelmed trying to be perfect that I couldn’t get it all done.
The reason I couldn’t do it all is pretty simple: perfect isn’t possible.
It isn’t real and it’s unobtainable. Imperfection is beautiful. It’s what makes us all unique. But that is a lot easier said than done. I think most of us are perfectionists at some level. As an entrepreneur, you are seeking excellence and want to execute your vision as best as possible. I had to learn to forgive myself if a typo slips through the cracks, as long as I am making my deadlines.
Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism: A Self Care Practice
Celebrate the small wins
When you have a lengthy to-do list it’s easy to make everything seem like a huge deal. I’ve found it helpful to separate my to-do’s into important and urgent.
No matter how important, you have to make the effort to celebrate the small wins. Maybe you sent that email you’ve been putting off, now celebrate. Perhaps you made a tough phone call or scheduled an important meeting. Celebrate. You don’t need to throw a party, but find a way to congratulate yourself for an accomplishment, big or small.
Remember the positives
I have a folder of kind words people have sent me in the past about how I have impacted their business or their lives. If I’m having a really frustrating day, I’ll often look through and read them. It’s easy to forget the positive remarks. You can have 100 people give you feedback and if one out of 100 is negative, you remember that negative feedback. Try to hold on to the positive feedback. If you’re having a frustrating day and need a reminder, show yourself some positive self care and look back on positive reviews.
Accept where you are right now
We are all works in progress. Most of us are striving to be better and constantly improve. This is great, and I believe we should all try to improve ourselves and continually learn. But before we can move forward, we have to acknowledge where we are right now. Maybe you haven’t reached every single goal, but how many goals have you conquered on the way? Give yourself credit for everything you’ve accomplished so far without instantly moving on to the next goal.
Practice healthy inner dialogue
When you’re being hard on yourself, it’s time to start an internal discussion. Ask yourself what is really going on. How do you talk to yourself? Most people have that inner critic who reminds them of everything they’re doing wrong. It’s important to question that negative voice and replace it with something positive. Use affirmations throughout the day to keep your inner dialogue headed in a healthy direction.
Try out these affirmations when you need to quiet that negative self critic:
I can do hard things.
I’m going to have a great day.
I’m going to make healthy choices.
I know what I’m talking about.
I handle myself well under pressure.
I can do anything I set my mind to do.
See a counselor
Sitting down and communicating with a therapist is so helpful. There are many specialists trained in handling emotional thoughts to teach their clients how to navigate through them. When you’re feeling like a failure who can’t do anything right, a counselor can help guide you through those thoughts and teach you better coping skills. If you haven’t seen a counselor yet, I highly recommend it. I see one often. It can be hard to find one you really jive with. But once you find one you like and trust, try to see them on a regular basis.
Remember, perfection isn’t real. We can only do our very best and move forward with our lives and our businesses. These self care activities dedicated to overcoming perfectionism can help. Being an entrepreneur is a high-stress job, but you can accomplish amazing things even if you aren’t always flawless. Life will send you curve balls, but with healthy strategies in place, you can mentally and emotionally handle anything that comes your way.
Want to learn more about how to incorporate self care routines into your daily life and thrive in your business as a result? Get our Ultimate Guide to Self Care here.
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