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15 Struggles Only Perfectionists Would Understand

15 Struggles Only Perfectionists Would Understand

Being a perfectionist can come with its nightmares. It is not that it makes you less worthy, it is just that you can’t help reacting to anything below par in life. Perfectionism is not a healthy pursuit of excellence because it comes with struggles, self doubt and fears of disapproval. Perfectionism comes with several hazards such as anxiety and depression, and could be a trigger for suicide. Perfectionism has plagued celebrities like Martha Stewart, Reese Witherspoon and Barbara Streisand. As perfectionists, these are the struggles you all understand.

1.You find it difficult working in a group

Your standard of achieving goals is higher than other people’s. Thus you find it difficult working on group projects or with other people because you do not want their mediocrity or inefficiency to rub on your desire to attain perfectionism.

2.You are extremely conscious of deadlines

When you have to meet a deadline you are often burning the midnight oil or making sure you get things done in the nick of time. You have a sudden exciting rush to turn over something you are ultimately proud of. Whatever extra effort it requires doesn’t mean anything to you.

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3.You take everything to heart

Even when people make light or less thoughtful jokes at you, you tend to put in much thought to the casually poked fun. You tend to take everything to heart and such jokes could be a devastating blow to your psyche.

4.You overwork yourself because you want a perfect job

Many may not see what you have done in private, but you overwork yourself to be so flawless because you want only a perfect product on anything your name has to be attached on. This could portend a major health disaster, yet you are willing to take the risk.

5.Your past work is never good enough

Anytime you look back at your past work you tend to ask yourself, “What was I thinking back then?” You find it difficult to appreciate where you are now compared to where you were. Thus you are either throwing out old work projects or simply deleting them.

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6.You are bothered by little things

Seemingly little things like typos in an email, a Tweet or a Facebook posts from your boss can leave you disgusted. Even when your old pair of pants is darker than your new pair of blue pants, you are bothered and the rest of your day is clouded with bitterness.

7.You procrastinate

According to studies, perfectionists tend to procrastinate. When you have a big project you push it off until later, and when deadline approaches you try to execute a big project within a short time. Although perfectionism can push and motivate you with the fire to complete a good work, you only do this because you want an affirmation from others that you are great at what you do.

8.You always arrive early

You are always punctual and focused on beating every other person to being early. Yet when any other person is running late for as little as ten minutes, it drives you crazy to think about what you could be doing with such lost time rather than waiting.

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9.You think of yourself as lazy

You feel lazy because you have set such high standards and high expectations that executing and undertaking them takes longer than you planned for. And when such goals are not met, you ridicule yourself for not being good enough.

10.You take few chances

For you taking chances is tough. You don’t want to make mistakes and instead of finding reasons why you should engage in a task, you find reasons why you shouldn’t. You would only jump in on something if there is a guarantee on the outcome.

11.You are your own most severe critic

You criticize yourself so ruthlessly that it is difficult to accept criticism from others. This is because before others offer any criticism you would have recognized the issue long ago and pushed for a solution.

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12.You don’t feel accomplished until you see results

You are focused only on delivering a perfect outcome, and nothing should be short of that. If you are writing an article, it should be good enough to be a featured editorial. You don’t want shoddy, but you are focused on creating exceptional work. That is why you are spending more than the average time on improvements and details.

13. You are never a casual observer

Anything that engages you casually is not worth your time, whether it is reading a book or watching a TV show. You can’t even have a casual conversation with people about such forms of entertainment because their opinion will never be intrinsic enough.

14. You focus on efficiency

You want to make sure everything is done the right way and so you dedicate yourself to reading and studying about efficiency. If others are not efficient enough and they make a mistake, you are afraid to help because you don’t want to be seen as a know-it-all.

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15. You feel like a slacker sometimes

When the day has been spent on trying to get one thing perfect, you feel like the day has been wasted. As much as you wish you could cross off five things from your to-do list you only end up crossing out one.

Featured photo credit: Roni Rosen via flickr.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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