My client, Chris, is a very successful professional in a high-level position in the computer industry. He works 80 hours per week and travels often for his job. He has come to the realization that the corporate culture is no longer tolerable, and he wants out. In fact, he wants to start his own business that coincides with his love of cycling. Our work together has been challenging his beliefs around leaving the corporate world and entering the entrepreneurial one.
Chris has been difficult to shift, as he has a block around trying things without a plan in place. As we dug a little deeper, we explored his need to be perfect and how he believes his reputation is tied to his perfectionist ways. In order to challenge this belief, I asked Chris what things he had on his plate before our next session. After listening to the list he gave me, I invited him to not finish 3 of these items and consider them completed. When he paused and furrowed his brow, I knew his thinking had shifted.
When he came in the following week, he shared his insights from forcing himself to let go of things that were not perfect and consider them good enough. Here are his insights:
1. People commented on how they felt welcome and comfortable around him.
2. Nobody noticed all the things that he let go of, even though he was sure someone would notice and probably say something to him.
3. Chris realized he was using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate and keep people at arm's length.