I have a natural eye for detail and I have very high standards, often higher than many other people.
That reminds me of what my marketing manager said at the time: What’s 80% for you is 110% for most people. You don’t need to put all your time and energy into the final 20%. Stop at 80% and everyone’s overjoyed (because it’s more than they expected.)
I could’ve saved so much time and energy for myself and my loved ones not going for what I thought was a needed extra mile.
No one will ever notice the difference—even if they did it would’ve been so unimportant it wouldn’t have been worth that extra time.
Now I’ve become better at recognizing when it’s not needed to reach for 100% perfect and stop when it’s good enough.
I remind myself I could read a book, visit a friend, do a million other things that are useful or satisfying, or both, rather than keep tinkering with something that no one is ever going to notice!
It’s very freeing to live like that, especially being self-employed— when things are never done. The higher the demands you put on yourself, the more suffocating it potentially becomes.
You’re the only one who holds the reigns to your freedom. You have to know and decide when to stop and when it’s enough.
The integration of this came years after my burnout, but having had the support of my manager after my burnout was a great first step. At the time I still had the tendency to work and keep going, and he would literally stand by my desk and say “You can power down and work on that tomorrow.” He knew if he didn’t, I’d be there for a couple more hours.
I guess I needed his permission before I was able to give it to myself. And I see that tendency in a lot of people.
We tend to think the world hinges on us and our output, so stopping before you think it’s done and seeing that nothing bad happens was very educational for me.
It’s about learning to see what’s really needed and what makes a difference.
Sometimes the things we think are important, aren’t.
Sure, there’s stuff that has to happen workwise, but it’s rarely as much as we think.
It reminds me of the five regrets of the dying. None of them say “I wish I’d worked harder. I wish I’d done more.” All of them say they wished they’d spent more time with their family and friends. They wished they’d enjoyed and cherished the days.
Be kinder to yourself and be less strict. It’s all in the mind and you get to decide how much freedom you give yourself and how easy or difficult you allow this journey on earth to be.
Perfectionistic tendencies often come up in my calls with people who are experiencing burnout.
If that’s you, if you tend to go the extra mile, push through and make sure everything is up to your high standards without checking in with your body and what you need, then my Burnout Scan is for you.
This powerful scan helps you get clear where you land on the burnout scale and what you can do to start taking better care of yourself and your health immediately.
Because life is too short to prioritize work over living.
I can’t wait to see what your energy and stress level is like, and help you feel so much better and more energized!
Have a day full of energy and inspiration!