MINDSET: What High Achieving Women Do & Don’t Admit | Great Health Guide
MINDSET: What High Achieving Women Do & Don’t Admit

MINDSET: What High Achieving Women Do & Don’t Admit

‘What High Achieving Women Do & Don’t Admit’ by Paula McSporran published in Great Health Guide (Sep 2016). Do you like things ‘just so’ (i.e. organized, tidy and looking ‘right’)?  Would you rather do a task yourself to ensure it is done properly just the way you like it? This article by Paula can save you precious time and frustration so you feel happier, more energized and organized.
Read other Mindset articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.

MINDSET: What High Achieving Women Do & Don’t Admit

written by Paula McSporran

Having high standards definitely can be a good thing because accuracy and attention to detail is very important in most workplaces; we have an innate desire to do things right, to be right.   In saying this would you rate yourself as a perfectionist?  If you have answered ‘no’, is that because it is very difficult to find perfection? Or is it because you have never been able to achieve perfection by your standards and interpretation of perfect? 

Understanding this fact and taking time to contemplate how you feel about perfection – aka getting things done your way or ‘just right’ could be the greatest gift you choose to give to yourself.  Here’s a short video titled ‘Who Really Stole Your Time?’ that may help you along your journey.  

I remember five years ago sitting in the audience at a professional development seminar on mindset and performance.  It was at this event that I first noticed my mentor talk about ‘standards of behaviour’.  I guessed that I had higher standards than others because I had been told so a few times during work and through experiences of what others thought was ‘good enough’.   So I was sitting in the audience watching and absorbing the information whilst smiling to myself that of course she wasn’t referring to me. I was good at what I did, regularly ‘got it right’ and conducted myself professionally virtually all the time with good results.   

And then I heard the statement: 

“Perfectionists don’t admit they are perfectionists.” 

Now this caught my attention.  I was sitting more upright and snapped out of my daze of self-righteousness and paid a little more attention.  

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Look to your right…


What!  I have standards. They were clearly different from those people that I work with and I did have different levels of standards from my friends, colleagues and family members. The expectations of my own personal standards were usually high, in fact always high.  And yes, sometimes I did not start something if I thought I wasn’t going to make it wonderful or get it right. 

And then another statement: 

“Have you ever achieved perfection?” 

Now I was really challenged, confronted with these questions and began to ask myself the questions.  When did I ever achieve ‘perfection’?  How much of my own time had I spent on projects at work getting them to look better and better?  How many evenings had I spent tweaking my reports so they sounded sharper, read more intellectually and looked really good?  

Who was I kidding?  After some time, there was no more logic or points that I could add to the debate and the conclusion was clear, I had perfection tendencies, I was a perfectionist! 

At that time, I didn’t realize what a gift I had given to myself.  Realizing that I had this behaviour gave me more choices that I had never realised before. The greatest question I asked myself was:  “How did I want to be?”  Once I had the answer, I worked with my coach on the beliefs and strategies that I had which were keeping me at this level when I really wanted so much more from my career, relationships and life.  

Now so much of my stress caused through my inner conflict and conflict with others has been reduced because I understand the performance-perfection trap that I had been caught up in.  The journey has been incredible and so worth it. 

Understanding how you can avoid the performance-perfection trap to reclaim some of your time and energy opens incredible opportunities and choices.  Imagine how much more happiness and joy you could experience when you understand and set achievable standards for yourself. 

Here’s a link to the video again – a snippet taken during a presentation to Managers and Industry Leaders two years ago on ‘Who Really Stole Your Time?’. 

If you would like further information to help you to manage your time and performance better, please email me and make sure you ask for your ‘cheat sheet’; a guide to managing peak performance and perfectionism.  

Author of this article:
Paula McSporran is an Executive Performance Coach, highly skilled and experienced, as well as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Her clients become skilled and confident in the art of negotiation and communication. Clients increase their team’s performance and individual productivity. Paula is also an expert in reducing stress, conflict and procrastination. Connect with Paula on: 0421 976 381 or through her Facebook page or email at paula@theperformanceinstitute.com.au.

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