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Perfectionism Doesn’t Equal Professional Success

Gold Start | 9 Clouds

My name is Jenny, and I am a perfectionist. 

I hold myself to truly unrealistic standards, which pushes me to succeed in my education and career. But it's not all gold stars.

As a project manager for 9 Clouds, I'm learning there are some ways perfectionism can sabotage your professional success — but it's possible to overcome, even for a card-carrying perfectionist like me.

Fear of Failure

Failure is a four-letter word for people like me.

I'm terrified of failure. And that fear pushes me to work hard, doing my very best at everything because then everything will be perfect.

This mentality is crazy — and, in the end, damaging. If a fear of failure is driving the work you do, nothing will ever be good enough. You'll lose sight of what success even looks like.

don't fear failure | 9 CloudsThe solution? Accept failure as a learning opportunity.

It's easier said than done, of course, but failure can be just as valuable as success. Ask yourself: What is at the root of this failure, and what can be done differently in the future?

Remember, we wouldn't have bubble wrap if it weren't for someone's failure.

Fear of Risk

The other major roadblock perfectionism puts up for professionals is fear of risk, which goes hand-in-hand with fear of failure.

Innovative ideas are inherently risky. As a perfectionist, my first instinct is to avoid them at all costs. Change leads to a high possibility of failure — and failure, as we know, is a scary word.

This attitude won't get you very far in a creative field like marketing. I've grown a lot working with my 9 Clouds coworkers, who are a highly intelligent group. Now, my response to risk is a strategic consideration of the pros and cons.

An innovative idea still needs to be worth the risk — and we've had some ideas that haven't panned out — but I'm proud of the growth we've made together.

Fear of Delegation

perfectionism | 9 CloudsIn my past jobs, I spent a lot of time doing other people's work because I knew it would get done correctly if I did it. (If you don't remember, I'm a perfectionist.)

This put me dangerously close to deadline all the time because I wasn't able to delegate anything. If I did this at 9 Clouds, I would hold up projects and potentially impact our client relationships. Fortunately, though, I've resolved a lot of this perfectionist trauma (therapy, folks — try it sometime).

You have to put trust in your coworkers and employees. They are intelligent humans, after all. They will complete the task, even if you're not involved in every step. And if you pass on work, you can move on.

Try it. I promise, the relief you get from not being involved in every aspect of your business will be incredible.

Fear No More

9 Clouds specializes in digital marketing, and we believe in building and supporting the community with online resources. We create eBooks, blog posts, and case studies so you feel empowered to take risk in your own business.

Don't feel overwhelmed if you fail along the way. We'll be right there with you.

Join our online community to get more updates on productivity tips and business hacks, along with the latest marketing resources.

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