You’re a perfectionist and there is only one rule: you should deliver and expect 100% performance…all the time.
This is black and white, it’s 100% perfect or it’s a failure.
“If it’s not perfect, it’s wrong.”
You hold yourself to these high standards, it’s expected of you from others, but more importantly, you demand this for yourself.
While these standards have motivated/pushed you to achieve success in your field and become very competent, there is a price to pay for these expectations.
“Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is the pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will be good enough-that we should try harder.”
I’ve observed this with my clients, as speaking in public is a pressure cooker situation that brings your insecurities, negative thoughts, and beliefs from beneath the surface to the forefront.
In our public speaking training, this is an area we specialize in as perfectionism has a negative impact on business professionals ability to communicate with confidence, as it holds them from seizing opportunities, creates massive self-doubt, and reduces your energy to meaningfully connect.
* The perfectionist will avoid speaking in public because they know they can’t do it perfectly, so won’t do it at all.
*They avoid public speaking because they’re afraid of how much they will beat themselves up for their performance after.
*Knowing that their presentation is coming up, the perfectionist will feel anxiety build and will often go into a procrastination cycle, trying to avoid the discomfort of thinking about their presentation, until it’s right before, so then they’ll stress out as they scramble to get ready and get upset with themselves for having waited so long.
*When the perfectionist does speak in public, they will feel overwhelmed as while they’re speaking, they’re focused on what the audience is thinking about them and how they’re being judged
*They will be tired and stressed out before speaking public because they have spent hours scripting their presentation, then many more hours practicing to get it perfect. This often leads to having a limited sleep the night before a presentation because they’re worried about humiliating themselves.
*They show up to the presentation sleep deprived and stressed out, then having all those people stare at them feels very intimidating and they feel vulnerable.
*They won’t connect and engage with their audience, because as they’re speaking, their focus is on remembering their script and getting every word “right” so they come across cold, robotic, and dry.
*After the presentation, they get an applause, which feels great for a few minutes as it’s over and now they can rest. That is until they start reviewing their presentation and begin picking apart every thing they did wrong.
“Did the audience notice I said the wrong word?”
“How could I have missed that point, what’s wrong with me?”
“I should be better than this, what’s wrong with me.”
These statements cut deep, they cut to your core, it’s telling you that you’re not good enough, that you don’t measure up, that you need to be better. This is often a pattern as they’ve been a high-achiever for a number of years, they’re known for this, it’s what people expect from them, and what they expect from themselves.
Often my clients will try to rationalize this behaviour, saying that it’s actually a good thing, that they’re focused on improving.
Focus on improvement is great, but there’s a spectrum between having a healthy drive for improvement and holding the unrealistic standards of perfectionism as your baseline.
There is a dark side to perfectionism and it comes at the cost of your confidence.
With perfectionism, when holding yourself to these unrealistically high standards, it’s not a matter of if you will let yourself down, but when.
This leads to a cycle of self-sabotaging your success as you’re constantly trying to achieve your impossibly high standards and the pressure gets too high. You keep pushing yourself and with each success, you get closer to having the disappointment, that is inevitable.
I help business professionals gain perspective with perfectionism and channel their desire for achievement into a productive, confidence-building format. This is accomplished through our Communicate With Confidence training. In the training, you are video-taped while speaking and then we watch the videos and identify how to refine your delivery.
This brings many of your thoughts and beliefs that are below the surface to the forefront as during this process, you quickly identify how critical you are on yourself.
Left to a client’s own devices, the natural reaction to their video is to create a huge list of things they hate about themselves, how they look on camera, and their delivery.
“I can’t believe I look like that…what happened to me?”
“I sound like that…why didn’t anybody ever say something?”
“That doesn’t look like a leader, how did I get promoted?”
“I look so old and I need to lose weight.”
If we left this as is, all that would happen is you would find speaking on video to be an uncomfortable process that you never want to do again, which would be counter-productive.
In our training, we support you to boost your communication confidence, and build your abilities.
If you’re a perfectionist and it’s holding your public speaking confidence back, our training will provide you with the techniques, strategies, and supportive environment to gain the confidence you need to achieve your potential, check our training here to see if we’re a fit: Public Speaking Training