6 Steps to Overcome the Perfectionist Mindset and Focus On the ProcessOn Purpose with Jay Shetty
- 1,987 views
- 2 Apr 2021
Are you a perfectionist? It is totally fine if you answered yes!
On this episode of On Purpose, Jay Shetty tells stories about how he overcame the perfectionist mindset and provides six simple steps for you to do it too.
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Hey everyone, welcome back to you on purpose and thank you so much for being here. I'm so grateful that you come back every single we truly it means the world to me whether you're walking your dog, whether you're walking on your phone, whether you're cooking you're at the gym with your working your editing, whatever you're up to right now. I just want to say thank you for trusting me with your time. Thank you for trusting me with your ears and choosing the unpublished energy for your growth and means the world to me.
I can't wait till we can have on purpose events all across the country all across the world. We can meet each other be together. Hopefully give you a big hug and discover looking forward to that plays episode is all about how we have this addiction and Obsession to Perfection how many of you know you have this raise your hand right now if you feel it.
We have this addiction to Perfection we have this obsession with perfection and he's the crazy thing. I want to read the definition of perfection to you because I really think it will blow your mind and I'm not just saying that I don't think we know the definition as it is and so listen to this the definition of perfection is the condition state or quality of being free or as free as possible from floors or defect what in the world. Do you know that is free from all floors or defect?.
Think about it right now, and I know you think about your children or your spouse or your partner may be but but really sleepy what is truly.
Level floors in defects now listen to the definition of a perfectionist, right? How many of you feel that you struggle with being a perfectionist listen to this. The definition of a perfectionist is a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection. Wow. Wow, imagine you refuse to accept any standard short of perfection. How happy do you think your life is going to be how great do you think your life is going to be?.
It's weird, isn't it? When you Aspire for Perfection, you create more misery in your life crazy to think that but the more you Aspire for Perfection and you become a perfectionist you refuse to accept any standard short of perfection and you don't even refuse to settle for it you refuse to accept it, which means that if you don't think it's perfect, you won't accept it and then you will feel the pain from not being a perfectionist. How many of you have ever felt the pain from not being perfect from not having done something perfectly if you've experienced that right now, I just funny vines not along because it's truly an obsession and addiction and instead of our addiction to perfection.
We need to focus on action and progress the antidote to our addiction to Perfection is action and progress in 1996. There was an event that occurred call the Mount Everest climbing disaster when over about 2 days 8 climbers caught in a blizzard lost their lives and as the best selling water in his book Into Thin Air talks about and over focus on the goal of summiting likely caused the most of that loss of life.
Instead of climbing guides have been able to shift focus and 10 climates around earlier because of a very real problem with the process missing a critical jet around time, even though they had a reach their climbing go they might still be with us. Now. That's a really extreme example of an addiction to pass inspection because what truly is an addiction to Perfection an addiction to Perfection is an addiction to the result and what is an addiction to the result. It's an attachment to our ego. It's the feeling we get from saying we did that in that much time.
It's the emotion that we feel by saying we're the only ones to have done that it's the fascination we have with being the best and in this scenario trying to be the best.
There was no life left. Now. The stakes are rarely so high but an inability to re-evaluate during your process can cost you time and cause a lot of frustration chasing a goal that doesn't really fit or isn't realistically attainable now at the same time some of the most successful people in the world have something called reality Distortion field or they sometimes have a deluded imagination which means that they can conjure up things in their mind that don't yet exist. It means that they can get fascinated about an idea and addicted and obsessed with an idea.
But notice there's a difference between being obsessed with an idea being obsessed with progress being obsessed with process and being obsessed with perfection. There is a big difference, although sometimes you can feel like a very thin line.
See, there's no problem with Obsession or addiction because it going to be applied in the right ways the challenges when that leads to Perfection. So affection has some really dangerous elements to it. And if you are sitting there listening and you thinking wow, I really am always trying to perfect my body. I'm always trying to perfect my podcast on my way trying to perfect my Instagram post a movie trying to perfect my perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. And actually I always feel like a failure chance is all you desire for Perfection is what's causing the pain for failure.
No, I'm not asking you to set to him.
I'm not asking you to settle for less or have more realistic expectations. I'm asking you.
To try your best to work your hardest and then accept what happens think about this for a moment. I want to tell you another story this time. It's a success story Alex Honnold free solo to Yosemite El Capitan. That's about three thousand vertical feet with no ropes Honnold trained for years practicing and practicing portions of the route over and over and over again. Then when he attempted the push to climb the whole thing, he abandoned it. It didn't feel right that day shortly after he went back and started again.
And this proved to be the right time in that effort. I don't showed us a few key elements of focusing on the process the first step is that once we set our goal in his case climbing El Cap, we break it down into smaller steps in practicing.
I don't didn't go up and down all of El Cap again. And again, he broke it down into smaller sections and practice each of those but what was critical to that practice was that at each stage he had to identify the skills. He needed to call in the skills. He needed to create or cultivate to monster each stage. So the first step in overcoming our perfectionist mentality is to focus on the Praxis. We are always obsessed with the result will give you a really good example of this show me and some of my friends this weekend.
We went to an archery class. We wanted to do something Outdoors something that was covid-19 and something that allowed us to connect we went to this archery course. It was just us there was only about four of us in the archery teacher and we started to be taught how to practice archery now we will.
Running from the Asian school of archery and the Asian squat about tree has some differences in how you lift a bow and arrow how you shoot the arrows and it was fascinating to learn from an expert about how to do this effectively in properly. Now the amazing thing is I learned something so powerful this Saturday like I can't tell you just how big this was for me. We were shooting arrows and we would decide the success of our shot based on how close it was to the bullseye.
Now some of our arrows went over the target completely. Some of them are on the outer circles and some of them are closer to the Inner Circle in the bullseye and we would feel that the end of the shot was when the arrows struck the Target right that was the end of the shot. That makes sense. That's the end.
The teacher or the Sensei or whatever they called taught me something really really powerful. He said that you think that the end of the shot is when the arrow hits the target, but actually the end of the shot is the energy release after issued the Target and so he said that off to you let go of the string in the bow and arrow hits you actually stretch your arms back behind you and then you allow the energy to slowly come down.
This blew my mind because it made me realize that I am I so obsessed with the end with the deadline with the Target that we forget to release the energy off 234 get to experience it off to its does that make sense the idea that we get so addicted to Perfection that we just keep picking up the next hour and keep going to shoot to Bullseye when actually what we needed to do was our self that space and Stillness when we focus on the process over the end goal when we encounter an obstacle along the way or even failed along the way it doesn't derail has it's simply tells us ok, more learning or different skill is required here get back to practice.
It's a piece of information we can use to keep moving forward in Honnold case. He had the most to eat stage before making the end run at his goal Mastery is definitely what you're going for when you.
Free soloing because there's literally no room for error. That's one of the few places with fey'lya actually could be the end now that replaces with Honnold as expensive climber is he was realized he didn't yet have the skills necessary to be successful at that portion one sequence was a move where he'd have to karate kick out to the side to get the next foothold a move that require a lot of flexibility Honnold says he did daily stretching practice for a full year to make sure that when he needed to make that move he'd have both the strength and the flexibility to pull it off to memorize the route.
So there is no guesswork. That's an element of learning to he had to know where he was headed and yet identify the hose that would get him there and then he had to execute one move at a time if you get frustrated that it's taking a lot of time to practice reaching your goal.
Remember Alex Honnold moving from fingertip-to-fingertip and toe-to-toe having to get each and every tiny move exactly, right it puts things into perspective. So the first step in overcoming Perfection mentality is practice focus on the practice focus on the next skill that you need to practice focus on the next thing you need to learn don't get lost in trying to be perfect before you tried to practice. I think it off Jay. How did you get so good at interviewing or how did you get the confidence interview? When I first got my break and move to New York to work at the HuffPost.
I pretty much interviewed a guest on my show called follow the reader everyday for 9 months. I was live on Facebook live, right literally 9 months.
And I was interviewing guests back to back to back. So I'm going to guess a day now at that time. I had some of the rough skills, but I learned so much about how to fill in the awkward silences how to respond when you don't get an answer you're looking for how to deal with an awkward moment. The point was it was tons of practice to and I lost my podcast in 2019. I already had done this every day for an hour a day for around 12 months and this is often what's forgotten is the amount of time that someone is practice something before it actually goes to the main stage.
So we think about someone like Beyonce and you think while Beyonce's just show talented she's so incredibly gifted she was born with it. She's had her own life and a lot of that may be true. But the amazing thing is that we forget the work that's put in as well.
I was reading an article and the article was saying that according to her Netflix documentary homecoming she restarted rehearsals over a hundred and fifteen days before opening night on April 14th, 2018 115 days of rehearsals for her performance. And on top of that she was working up to 9 hours a day of Dawn's practice often and heels for that performance. So you can see that even someone that we can sit A Gifted is practicing is rehearsing. This podcast is sponsored by the hell does my Tim counterintuitive but Springtime can actually be a time of heightened anxiety for a lot of people there's more pressure to feel happy be active and just do more even though all the pollen in the air increases anxiety.
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Now the second way of overcoming Perfection mentality is to focus on the process. I want to give you my own personal example when I set out to write think like a monk I was focused on the process. I wanted to write for you the best possible book. I could write in the time that I had had the idea for the title think like a monk in the book back in 2016 and I was offered a book deal in 2016 and I chose don't do it because you didn't feel like the right time to tell the story and it didn't feel like the right time to feel like I knew what I wanted to share and give an Express.
So I actually didn't sign a book deal until 2018 and I didn't finish writing the book until 2019 in the book came out in 2020. So there was a four-year Gap from the time. I thought of the title and was offered a book deal to the point that I actually published a book.
Because I was focused on the process. I wasn't focused on the result and I wasn't focused on the perfect result. Now. I want to give you an example of how I navigated that when you're writing the book when you're creating your work when you're doing your art when you're working on your body in your Fitness. You want to be focused on how to improve the process. So if you get dissatisfied with your result, will you feel far away from affection? The only way is to switch off the process getting Paralyzed by Perfection doesn't make you get there quicker rights.
And so you have to switch back to the process. So every time we drive to chapter and I didn't feel like it moved me. I would go back and say like, all right. We're which stories are missing from here which science study strategies in steps are missing from here. I would go back to the process of the chapter and ask myself. What's missing what's not working? Right? What's what really not happening here? And that would give me a new idea.
That would be menu appreciation and you approach and then I would do the same thing again and again and again now I did that with my book and I've always said a personal Target of 70% for as long as I've known a cold is the 70% Rule and the 70% rule comes from the fact that you getting a 70% in the UK in a university or college degree gives you a first class degree and I realized that there was so much Obsession for people getting 99 or 98.
But all I need to do is get about 70 and it was fine. Now you may say that Jay that sounds like you're settling it sounds like you don't care. It sounds like it doesn't matter. It's not true. What I realize is that the effort it takes to get from 70 to 100 means that I may never ever release what I want to share with the world.
I need the prices from 0 to 70. You can take that with the purses from 70 to 100 to take your whole life and every create to every offer every artist in their heart knows nothing that created is perfect because they know what it would have taken if they attempted to make it. Perfect Now it only cost me J when you were writing your book. Did you ever think about like or is this going to be a best-seller? How well is it going to sell? How's it going to do?
How many of you feel like, that's something that you think about that. Why you doing you thinking about a call when I get promoted this year? Will this work this year? Is this going to happen this year right leg when you think he might the results already? I remember I had a math tutor when I was running 14 years old and would be studying together. I never enjoyed math, by the way, and when we be studying together one day he looked to me and he said Jay.
Do you know why you struggle with me?.
And I said wow, this is like I said, no, I don't I don't know why I struggle with math about form. I don't enjoy it. He's the reason you struggle with math. Is that when you're looking at the question you thinking about what your parents are going to say about the result?.
He said instead of using your energy to try and decipher the answer you're using your energy to think about and predict what your parents are going to say to you depending on the results you get you mind is never where you are. You never present with the question.
You never present we trying to find the answer you're obsessed and focused on a projected predicted result that by the way is unpredictable. This was another one of those life-changing moments for me because it didn't just apply to my school and work it apply to my life. I realize that I spend most of my life worrying about what my parents would think of me or what my cousin's you think of me what my uncles and aunts would think of me and then realized in this moment that none of it mattered that none of it was relevant that none of it was significant and so In This Moment against such a gift to focus on the process the process to find the answer was more important than what people might say and I realize this for the book that I couldn't write a best-selling book if I was thinking about it being a best-selling book what I mean by that is if I was obsessing.
Oh my gosh, this needs to be a number 1 New York Times bestseller. This needs to be this needs to be this needs to be.
I'm taking away all my energy from actually creating a good piece of work. Now what really tell me feel confident about this and I'm not trying to brag or medicine in egotistic why I'm just sharing it in a beautiful experience. I had the day before my book came out. I sent an email to my Publishers my editors in my team and I said to them. Hey, I just want you to know that I am so proud of the book we've created. I'm so grateful to be working with you.
You've been an amazing amazing team and I'm just so happy that we got to work together on this and I really really hope that you know, how grateful I am about what we've created and what we've built because to be honest I could have asked for a better team to work with no I said that the day before my book came out and I also said to them the books already a success because I put everything into it. I put everything into that development of it.
Everything into the marketing of it. I put everything into the creation of it. I put every ounce of energy I had into trying to make it the best book in the world and making sure that people experience it for me the best book in the world for me that I could create not the best book in the world and is amazing because my publisher go back to message a we usually only get emails like this off. The books have been a success. We rarely get emails like it did to me before it's been published and I said no but I'm being serious like in the development.
I put it on my work in the process in the marketing at my work into the process in making sure that ever knew about this at all my working to the time already happy. I'm already satisfied and then another one of my Publishers in the UK. He told me the day before the bestseller list was announced. He's a j I don't think we're going to hit the Sunday Times bestseller. Number one. He said there's a lot about the competition in this category. We don't think we're going to make it.
I hope you're okay with them. Really sorry, and I said look, I can't I have done everything I post.
You could have done and if that isn't good enough to be number one, that's fine. The person who gets number one deserves it like that's great for them. You know, I put in everything I have into the process. And so if we didn't hit the number one spot, that's fine the next day he message me. He said we're number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list and I'll be honest with you. All of that was created from a focus on the process of creating the book writing the book and then awesome altering the book.
So a lot of people say things like, oh do your best and then leave the rest the result. That's what true the point is you want to focus on every part of the process. You want to be a dick to the process not obsessed with perfection. And when you were focusing on the process, you want to remember this you want to focus on the process, but you don't want to get lost in the process what I mean by that is that you don't want to be fully present in the process.
You don't want to set a course and then follow it and mindlessly, it's like using a GPS. Will you become lost in the autopilot and lose the end?.
Standing of how we got there. How many of you are part of the group. And by the way, I am too that you have no idea which road you're on or what areas are in because you follow your Waze or Google Maps to the T and you never look up right and then you actually don't know what you're doing consciously, there's a paradox of defining your part or course of action heroes are remaining flexible on the route. You want to be able to change your course and that's why the third method of overcoming Perfection mentality will the perfectionist mentality is pivoting you want to be open to different causes, especially if you get stuck, for example, you might decide a goal is to earn an MBA yet.
You don't have the money to invest in school you come up with a plan to set aside the money, but even though you're sticking to it Financial surprises keep coming up that derail you you Korean need new tires does a medical bill.
When Roblox persist sometimes that actually a sign that it might be time to re-evaluate that part and goal and pivot. For example, what's another way to achieve that go could you be asking your employer if they'll Cioppino investigating with HR whether there's a program to help continue education or could you work with them to create one or the gold? Do you actually need an MBA degree you need or do you just need the knowledge in the skills? Could you take courses online many of which are free or at least cheaper to get the information that you need could get a mental we can teach you can you intend some where the key is knowing that for each goal and each desire to be perfect.
There are probably several potential processes to reach it when we can be crystal clear on all goes. Well, we actually want or need to accomplish or obtain we can be open and flexible two different parts. We have to learn to Pivot.
Another way to focus on not falling the purses mindlessly is the focus on the beauty the Precision. Okay, you apply to each phase of the process this works in a few ways again Focus money stayed keeps us from getting overwhelmed by the overall process. Have you ever hiked a tough him like a canyon or Heights we have here in LA are pretty epic. Sometimes I just have to put my head down and focus on each step. If I kept looking up towards the top. I be overwhelmed and lose my motivation in these moments.
I just focus on executing the next step and then the next step the other thing fully applying yourself to eat stage or phase does is it takes the pressure off the result Buckminster Fuller Was An Architect inventor and author, he definitely knew how to accomplish goals, but he didn't just get things done. He was known as a Visionary designer as breathtakingly beautiful at some of the designs were you once said when I'm working on a problem.
I never think about beauty. I only think how to solve the problem. But when I finished if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong, but they need to come together like that. So that each phase adds up together create something beautiful. We need to be fully present with each piece and give it our all and that means that for bigger goals. We need to build in Brakes in the process because if the price is always exhausting and never fun if we never bring joy to the process and get to take pleasure in it unlikely to stay with it because we lose motivation the bug he says that the process of spirituality is joyfully performed so far we have many steps to overcome our perfectionist mentality and our obsession with perfection.
The fastest practice II is focused on the process. The third is to Pivot 4th is to think about it in terms of phases.
And V is the pause. Sometimes we have to pause to go back when we're in a perfectionist mentality. We never stopped. We never take a break. We never let ourselves be creative. We never let ourselves take a moment to rethink poses are so powerful and brain science shows us having a break having fun sharing a load off enjoying a feeling of teamwork. If others are involved makes up brain release dopamine and that literally Keeps Us motivated to move forward. That's why when were engaged in really stressful situations and somehow we break into laughter.
We feel better off to it. Like we've got more energy to continue. I have a friend who had to start the year to go on a 50 day workout challenge 10 weeks should u v pretty intense workouts each week. She recently finished and when I asked her how she stayed motivated no inches 50 workouts to do. She said I didn't think about 50 workouts.
I thought about one workout today's workout and I feel focused on how long or how hard it would be. But how good I would feel after whenever I get back from tennis. I literally said the Raleigh never let me Miss Tennis no matter how tired I have always told me to go to the dentist and I say it's not even because she always reminds me but that I remember that I love how I feel after tennis. Another thing which is this one at a time mentality one at a time mindset is when we would meditate Mantra meditation on beads.
So when I turn on beads there 108 beads and in my practice I charge on for around two hours, I practice Mantra meditation for 2 hours in the morning. But if I think about doing 2 hours of meditation in the morning, it sounds like a drag, but if I just say to my mind Shawn this one Mantra just this one at a time.
It changes how I feel about this and my friend within each workout. Sometimes you would just tell us self. I can do the next minute. I can do the next minute and finally the workout would be done and she'd get that feel good dopamine release because she just accomplished a mini goal and she'd want to feel that feeling again the next day. The other important thing to consider is how it becomes intrinsically motivated right when my folks don't affectionate something about the result about the eagle about competition about what people will think but really has to be about Publishers and therefore 6th to overcome perfectionism.
Mentality is purpose right when you really doing something that's deeply meaningful to you when you really believe in it when it's coming from a deeper place you realize it's not about being better than anyone. It's more about beating anyone. It's not about what people will think it's because you intrinsically are connected to your purpose.
So this is the final step because ultimately we will keep pushing ourselves to prove a point to someone but when it's your purpose you realize you're not proving anything to anyone you just sharing your puppets without this and that's what keeps you going because Perfection just becomes an elusive arbitrary abstract concept and you realize that reality is far more beautiful, wondrous and it's something you can deeply appreciate. So remember these steps next time you'll perfectionist mentality takes over focus on practicing when you practice and develop the skills you need to do you will get closer to creating amazing results.
Then focus on the process don't get lost in trying to get the perfect result improved the process bad thing. Don't get so lost in the process that you hung grow. Make sure you pivot off you pivot. Make sure you focus on the phases break it down into phases V.
Is to focus on making sure that you pause Loft take a break and the sixth is to be fueled by your purpose. These are the six steps to overcoming your perfectionist mindset and mentality and replacing it with a process mindset and mentality. I really hope that you love this episode makes you tag me on Instagram and share what you learned from this episode. I can't wait to hear about a little bit. Thank you so much for listen to on Barbara's. I'll see you again on the next one.