As a business owner anxiety and perfectionism can easily become a hurdle that every entrepreneurs needs to overcome, but it is one that can be done with the right strategies in place.
IE 323: Anxiety and Perfectionism in Business with Robyn Graham
On today’s episode we have special guest Robyn Graham.
Robyn is a personal brand strategist and a business and mindset coach.
She recently had the honor of getting her master certification for Christian life coaching which she will be adding to her life coaching.
She is also the host of the Robyn Graham Show and author of You, Me and Anxiety, Take action over Anxiety to Enjoy Being You.
Robyn works with her clients to help them build a solid foundation for long-term brand and business success.
How do you define perfectionism?
Perfectionism is the state of mind where you don’t take action unless you know everything is going to work out just right.
All the groundwork has been laid because you’re afraid to make a mistake and so you’re making sure that everything is perfect “before you take action”.
There’s a lot that goes into perfectionism, including fear, procrastination, and all of the other things that ultimately hold you back because you’re afraid to let anything out into the world unless everyone is going to think that it’s perfect.
Does anxiety cause perfectionism?
When we’re growing up, we have a lot of environmental factors that influence how our minds work and how our brain thinks.
If we have had any circumstances where maybe we were young and we made a mistake and someone called us out on that, we were embarrassed and anxiety can trigger perfectionism.
Anxiety can trigger fear so you can’t really pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from.
But a lot of the times we who have perfectionism have been in environments where it was expected of us or we thought it was expected of us in order to please other people or even please ourselves.
Why does anxiety cause perfectionism?
Sometimes, we get a hiccup in our brain and it gets our brain going in this negative cycle and doesn’t stop to let those negative thoughts out and positive thoughts in.
So when you’re a person with anxiety, there’s so much fear that you’re going to do something wrong.
You’re going to hurt someone or someone is going to hurt you, your brain is constantly thinking “what if” thoughts.
So if you’re thinking these thoughts around any type of action that you have to take, you’re going to hold yourself back because you want to make sure everything is perfect because you’re afraid of making mistakes.
How can we as business owners improve our perfectionism?
Our thoughts will produce our results, so if you can catch your negative, anxious or fearful thoughts, you’re going to be able to change them and have more control over them.
That’s ultimately going to give you more confidence to put one foot in front of the other and take one step at a time to move forward.
The key is catching the thoughts instead of letting them run wild in your mind.
Stop those thoughts and then challenge them, ask yourself “could my thoughts be proven in a court of law”, is someone really going to think I’m a failure if I put this out into the world and it’s not perfect?
For entrepreneurs, especially before you put something out into the world like an online course, you want to make sure that it’s completely polished and perfect.
But in reality, our people that we’re meant to work with want to meet us where we are.
They want us to meet them where they are and if we are too perfect or too polished, we may intimidate them.
We may cause them to be afraid of us and not want to work with us because they feel so inadequate compared to us.
So those are just a few things to start transitioning those thoughts that are in our brains to realizing it’s better to take action over them rather than not take any action at all.
If you realize and recognize that your thoughts are going to produce that result.
If your thoughts are negative that’s going to trigger emotions or feelings that are negative, when you’re stuck in an area of negative emotions and feelings, then what’s going to happen?
You’re going to feel sticky and you’re not going to take action or you’re going to take negative action.
Whereas if you flip that idea the concept of it and all of sudden you’re thinking positive thoughts and you feel confident.
Are there strategies that you recommend as a business owner to lower our anxiety?
To get those negative thoughts out of your head, write them down on paper, when you see those negative thoughts on paper and then you challenge them on paper, you’re more likely to trigger the neural pathways in your brain to change them.
We also know that journaling is actually equivalent to meditation, so if you’re not a person that likes to meditate, get your pen and paper and start journaling.
So when you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are there negative thoughts floating through your brain?
If there is then get a pen and some paper and run through those thoughts, see if they’re rational, can they be proven in a court of law, is it going to serve you today.
The answer to all of those questions is going to be no, then you’re going to change those thoughts and write down the negative thoughts next to the positive thoughts.
When you shift that positive thought on paper, everything is going to release the negative thought.
But this doesn’t happen overnight, this is a practice that you have to develop, but if you get all thise negative thoughts out of your head in the morning it’s like a brain dump.
You’re going to be able to have more control over your thoughts throughout the day and when you have more control over your thoughts, you’re going to be more confident going into every single thing that you need to do that day.
But there’s more than one way to journal, another way is by putting your negative thought in the middle of the page and putting a bubble around it, then you’re going to write all the positive thoughts around that bubble.
The more you start to do these exercises, the more you’ll start to recognize when those negative thoughts are coming in.
As part of the Robyn’s book she created a journal that people can use to do the exercises and then continue to do them going forward.
She also created a little ebook of the journal that people can download and go through the exercises.