Episode 125: Is perfectionism holding you back in your career? – with Isabeau Iqbal

Do you spend hours working on tasks that should already have been submitted?  Are you missing deadlines at work because you don’t complete projects until they are ‘perfect’?

In this interview, career coach Isabeau Iqbal dives into what perfectionism means, how being a perfectionist can hold you back and how to harness the characteristics associated with perfectionism and use them in a positive way.

Today’s guest

Isabeau Iqbal

Website: Isabeau Iqbal

Twitter: @isabeauiqbal

LinkedIn: Isabeau Iqbal, PhD

Email: isabeau@isabeauiqbal.com

Isabeau Iqbal, PhD, is a career coach who works with ambitious perfectionists ready to move forward in their career.

She helps individuals take a positive approach to their perfectionism as they navigate their work and career; this, she has evidence, is a much more effective strategy than wishing one’s perfectionism away.

Isabeau is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and is certified with the International Coaching Federation.  She was selected as one of the top 21 coaches in Vancouver in 2021 by Influence Digest Magazine.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • [02:05] Isabeau talks through her varied career history.
  • [04:10] Defining the term ‘perfectionism’ and examining the qualities and traits that are often associated with it.
  • [06:28] The three different types of perfectionism and how they link with personality traits.
  • [08:05] The advantages to perfectionism and the common behaviours associated with it.
  • [10:38] Looking at the drawbacks and challenges of perfectionism.
  • [15:16] Introducing tools to help you work alongside your perfectionism.
  • [18:04] Examining avoidance and fear as the key blockers to completing tasks.
  • [19:41] How to find the balance between completing a task and making it ‘perfect’.
  • [22:02] Using collaboration and co-working to help curb perfectionism.
  • [23:18] Expressing your priorities to someone else to ensure accountability.
  • [25:26] The benefits of co-working.
  • [27:17] How to ensure that you find the balance between creating something you’re proud of and knowing when to let go of a task.
  • [30:47] Setting a clear intention to enable you to keep you on track with a task or project.
  • [32:51] Four tips on how to curb your perfectionism and how to transform it into a positive characteristic.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.

Episode 125: Is perfectionism holding you back in your career? - with Isabeau Iqbal

Jeremy Cline 0:00
You're writing a report for your boss or a piece of advice for a client, it's only natural that you want to make it a really good piece of work. You want it to be helpful, accurate, well presented, everything that you've been asked to do. But what happens if your quest for a perfect document starts to impact the work that you're actually doing? What if it starts to take you too long because you're trying to get it just right? What happens when you lose sight of the goal in preparing the document in the first place? That's what we talk about in this episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:49
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast, the show that's all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. Now, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. When I'm writing even the shortest of emails, chances are I'll read it back three or four times before I hit Send to make sure I'm happy with it. Perfectionism can definitely be a strength, but I'm also conscious that it can hold me back from making decisions. So, where do you draw the line? How do you balance getting something just right with just getting it done? That's what we're talking about today, and I'm delighted to be joined by Isabeau Iqbal to help us out? Isabeau is a career coach who works with ambitious perfectionists ready to move forward in their career by helping them to take a positive approach to their perfectionism. Isabeau, welcome to the podcast.

Isabeau Iqbal 1:41
Thanks, Jeremy. And three to four times isn't too bad.

Jeremy Cline 1:46
Occasionally, it might be five or six.

Isabeau Iqbal 1:47
Yeah, I've heard 30 and above.

Jeremy Cline 1:50
Okay, that makes me feel better.

Isabeau Iqbal 1:52
There you go.

Jeremy Cline 1:54
So, finding out a bit more about you, you've been a dietician, you've run a DJ business, you've worked in forestry. How did you wind up becoming a coach?

Isabeau Iqbal 2:05
I'll try and keep it somewhat succinct. But I did my Master's in adult education, and that was the start of my career in terms of an educational developer. And what that means is that that's the field of improving teaching and learning in higher education. So, I had done all these other jobs and careers, the dietician, the DJ, etcetera, etcetera, and adult education was really the theme that I saw was the common thread. And I entered the field of educational development, I was in that for a while, did my PhD, because I wanted to dig deep and felt that that was a really good move for me. And then I started to feel dissatisfied. A few years after my PhD, I felt like the field of educational development wasn't going to be able to offer me what I wanted long term. It had been a really, really good choice, and I continued to work in that field part-time. So, I started to itch for something different, and something where I had a little bit more agency and could shape my future. So, I started to do some consulting work. And then I started to get really called to coaching. I do a lot of coaching as an educational developer, working one-on-one with faculty members, and I love giving advice, though coaching isn't giving advice, but you know, I was really drawn to helping people and decided that this is what I wanted to do, to get certified as a coach and to start working with people on their careers, because again, career stories fascinate me. And so, that was my entry into coaching, and that's been really my path over the last four years.

Jeremy Cline 3:58
Fantastic. So, turning to the subject in hand, let's start with, I don't know if it will be simple, but a simple definition. How do you define perfectionism?

Isabeau Iqbal 4:11
Alright. So, one definition from the literature is that it's the imposition on oneself of high goals that are unrealistic and impossible to achieve, as well as the tendency to harshly self-criticise when a mistake is made, or when the proposed standards are not achieved. There's a lot in there.

Jeremy Cline 4:35
There is a lot in there, and I was not expecting such a negative definition. I mean, you know, talking about unrealistic, impossible. Yes, perfectionism definitely can have drawbacks, but I am surprised to hear it expressed in such negative terms.

Isabeau Iqbal 4:57
Yeah, and this is really, really common. If you do a quick Google search on perfectionism, the common narrative is overcome your perfectionism, let go, it really is portrayed in a negative way. And as a certified perfectionist, I've been a perfectionist my whole life, I really wanted to push back against that narrative, because what I'm picking up from what you just said right now is that there are some positive traits. It's that, when they're taken too far, then it becomes kind of self-handicapping, but if we can leverage some of the good parts of perfectionism, we can use that. And so, that is really the approach that I take. The definition that I've just provided is a very common type of definition for perfectionism.

Jeremy Cline 5:55
What are some of the typical personality traits that a perfectionist might exhibit?

Isabeau Iqbal 6:02
Yeah, so highly self-critical, they are perfectionists and have very high standards, exceedingly high standards. They also have a difficulty tolerating uncertainty and tend to be indecisive. They have a lot of self-doubt, and then, of course, expect themselves to be perfect. And I should say there's three different types of perfectionism. So, in this conversation today, I'm really focusing on the, what we call, self-oriented perfectionism, where we tend to have high expectations of ourselves.

Jeremy Cline 6:38
And just for completeness, what are the other two types?

Isabeau Iqbal 6:41
Yeah, the other one is other-oriented perfectionism, where you tend to have unrealistically high standards for others. And then, the third one is called socially prescribed perfectionism, so the perception that other people are judging you by an unrealistically high standard.

Jeremy Cline 6:59
Do these three tend to go together? So, does someone who has high standards of themself also expect high standards of others and sees themselves as being judged by other people?

Isabeau Iqbal 7:10
Often yes. Yeah. There's a lot of overlap, and they do often show up together.

Jeremy Cline 7:17
And in terms of where you find perfectionists, do they exist in all walks of life, or have you found that they tend to congregate around particular careers, personality types, that sort of thing?

Isabeau Iqbal 7:31
That's a great question. I'm going to guess they appear in all walks of life, that certainly seems to be, I don't have any, you know, sound research that I've done on this, but from my experience, they seem to appear in all walks of life. My world has been largely higher education, and absolutely, it's rampant there.

Jeremy Cline 7:53
And before we delve into perhaps the dark side, can you speak to some of the advantages of perfectionism, so that people who listen to this don't think, 'Oh, no, I'm doomed'?

Isabeau Iqbal 8:05
No, no, definitely not. I think that one of the, I guess, pieces that I cherish the most is that perfectionists, the want to do well, right? They want to do well, the intentions are good. And they, as a result, feel a very strong sense of responsibility towards themselves and towards others. And this piece here, I think, is where the nuggets of good really are if we can think about this in a healthy way and help people kind of enact that intention and that desire to do well, so it's not destroying them.

Jeremy Cline 8:53
So, when you've got this feeling of responsibility, whether it's to yourself or to others, how does that display itself or manifest itself? What are the behaviours that might be associated with that?

Isabeau Iqbal 9:09
Yeah, I think one is certainly around overworking. So, when you combine the high standards, the high expectations, with this responsibility, with this self-doubt, of course, pepper in the imposter syndrome, because that's often part of the perfectionism, then, what I've noticed over and over again with perfectionists is that they drive themselves very hard. So, overwhelm, overwork, burnout, you know, all of these themes that many of your previous guests have addressed is what's happening when the desire is to fulfil a responsibility towards yourself or to others, but there are no boundaries, or very permeable boundaries, that are put around that, then people lose sight of what it is that they are intending to do and kind of get buried in their behaviours of overworking and overwhelm.

Jeremy Cline 10:14
So, when you talk about the drawbacks of perfectionism, so there's overwork, there's getting lost in the weeds, not seeing the wood for the trees or any other agricultural references that you'd like to throw into and mix, what else, I mean, what are the other aspects of the dark side of perfectionism?

Isabeau Iqbal 10:38
So, the self-doubt can manifest as a lot of, what I call, spinning mind, right? You revisit and revisit and revisit your decisions. Rumination is another one that's often seen. As I mentioned, the imposter syndrome, so kind of waiting for the, is it the penny to drop, for people to find out that you're a fake. So, all of that adds a lot of stress to one's life, and a lot of wasted energy, in terms of revisiting your choices, and the constant self-doubt. And then, it also, I would say, really practically then prevents people from doing the work that they want to be doing. So, instead of, for example, putting something, releasing something, they're going to rework it who knows how many times and not want to share it or feel the immense amount of pressure as they create it. So, a lot of joy is sucked out of processes.

Jeremy Cline 11:45
I'm just wondering if you've maybe got a client or a selection of clients that you can use as an example for someone who had these sorts of characteristics, what they looked like, so to speak, what it meant for them at that point, and how you helped them, what sort of transformation did you lead them on?

Isabeau Iqbal 12:08
Yeah, sure. So, one example that comes to mind is a woman that I was working with who was appointed into a position of leadership. So, she was promoted. And she was working on a report that the person she was reporting to had asked of her. And I mean, the amount of stress that she imposed on herself, the amount of doubt that she felt as she was creating this report and working on it was to the point that this position that she had been so excited a few months ago about receiving, and the possibilities of the work that she would be able to do, she was feeling absolutely zero speck of joy in her role. And so, what could have been a really good thing was really erased by the thoughts that she was repeating over and over in her head, in terms of, 'I don't know if this is good enough. I'm not sure that I'm the right person for this role. I'm afraid of sharing this. What if I disappoint?' So, the way that I worked with her and with other coaching clients is to really hold the mirror up to them in terms of the thoughts. And I firmly believe we have choice over our thoughts. It's not as easy as it sounds to change our thoughts and to choose our thoughts. And then, there's also, I guess, the evidence around, you were selected for this role. What are some reasons that you might have been selected for this? The other piece that I am a firm believer in is celebrating, so helping coaching clients celebrate what are their successes. So, with this particular client, to look at all the positive impact that she had had, to also raise her own belief in her ability, to be able to produce, for lack of a better word. And then to, once she had had the courage to do that, to really debrief. Okay, what helped you get here? What might you do differently next time? So, to kind of shorten that cycle of mental spinning.

Jeremy Cline 14:48
It's so interesting what you say about celebrating, and how weirdly difficult it can be.

Isabeau Iqbal 14:55
So difficult.

Jeremy Cline 14:57
It's one of those things, it shouldn't sound hard, but celebrating a win, and not immediately either going on to the next thing and just forgetting about it, or even if it has been a success, still looking at what could have been done better.

Isabeau Iqbal 15:14
Yeah.

Jeremy Cline 15:15
It's really a hard thing to do.

Isabeau Iqbal 15:16
It is, and I'm not sure if you're familiar with the work of BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits. So, he is really the person who has turned my thinking around with celebrating, because I personally used to be very resistant to it. And his work convinced me that I absolutely needed to incorporate this more into my coaching and into my own life. And he speaks about it in terms of the context of habits, meaning, and for me, goals and habits go together. So, for example, if you're trying to establish a new habit, and that might be changing my thinking around some aspect that's limiting me as a perfectionist, to really notice and celebrate everything, right? Not just the big things, not just the things that are validated by others, but to be able to notice our own accomplishments and celebrate these, and not only at the point of completion, but as we're leading up to it, as we're doing it, and then afterwards. So, there's multiple opportunities for celebration. And without a doubt, every single coaching client of mine resists this. They feel hokey, they feel foolish, they feel, 'Oh, no, that's not worth celebrating.' And yet, over time, those who choose to try it on, they're able to do it, maybe sheepishly at first, with a bit of a giggle, but I see it coming through more. And certainly for me, it's become so much easier.

Jeremy Cline 16:56
And it definitely ties in with perfectionism as well, if you've achieved something, but you do still look at it and see, 'Oh, well, yeah, but that didn't quite go right, and that could have been better.'

Isabeau Iqbal 17:06
Yeah, that's okay. I mean, we all benefit from reflection.

Jeremy Cline 17:10
It's very easy to find reasons to be a perfectionist. So, if I'm researching buying a new TV, for example, I can justify spending hours and hours researching on the internet on the basis that I want to make sure I get the right one, I want to make sure that I'm not overpaying for it, I want to make sure that it's good value for money, that it's going to fit, that it's going to serve our purposes, that I'm not going to need to replace it in two or three years, that it's going to last for a long time. But then, there's overkill, and suddenly, you find that you've spent four hours and not got any further. So, what are some of the warning signs that you can look out for in yourself before you get to that stage that stops you going really above and beyond what's necessary?

Isabeau Iqbal 18:04
Yeah, avoidance. I think avoidance and fear are kind of combined. So, if you are taking on a task, and finding that it's taking perhaps longer than you want it to, but you're in that position where you feel like you can't really stop yourself. You know, what am I afraid of here? What is it that's compelling me to go on and on? Is there anything that I'm avoiding? And I think this is where also the priorities piece really, really is relevant. For example, there are many times, many, many times I've overspent time on a task. And that's because, usually, I've lost sight of my purpose and my priorities. And so, I invite people to catch themselves, because I do think we have a sense of when something is taking too long. It's just a felt sense. Of course, sometimes we set a time for ourselves, okay, I'm planning for this to take two hours, check in after two hours. Am I still at it? Do I need more time? Did I misestimate the amount of time that it took? So, it's a bit of both there.

Jeremy Cline 19:29
And what about ways in which you can find a balance between wanting to do the job well, but also wanting to do it and get it done?

Isabeau Iqbal 19:41
Yeah, I think that connecting to our purpose is really an essential first step. So, if you are engaging in a task to get clearer on the purpose of the task, but also the greater purpose. So, I'll give you a small example here. I recently started to record some short videos and career related tips. And I've avoided this for a number of years. But I connected to my purpose, which is to help people, and I thought, 'Alright, if it's going to help one person, then it's worth doing.' I could have overspent time on a two-minute video. But again, what do I want this to feel like? I wanted it to be fun. I wanted it to feel flowing. So, sometimes taking the time to think not only what is my greater purpose, what is the purpose really practically, and what do I want this to feel like. So, back to your researching the TV, perhaps for a while it's energising, it's fine, you feel like you're getting somewhere, and then you feel like you're going down a rabbit hole and spending way too much time. And then, you're starting to get stressed about all the other things that you should and could be doing. So, if you enter, and if any one of us enters into an activity with more intention, that is really helpful in terms of being able to curb the perfectionism. Then, of course, having an accountability person can also be very useful. And sometimes like co-working, actually working physically with somebody, whether it's in a Zoom Room, or side by side, there's an energy there. So, that can also help to curb, but now I'm not sure if I was answering your original question or not.

Jeremy Cline 21:33
You've touched on something very interesting there about accountability. And obviously, that is a reason for working with a coach. But clearly, you wouldn't get a coach to necessarily help you decide what sort of TV to get. But in the workplace context, can you expand on that a little bit more, about what it means to have someone accountable with you, either in the office or in a Zoom workspace? Can you put a bit of flesh on the bones of that?

Isabeau Iqbal 22:01
Yeah, so one is the physical presence of another. So, there's kind of two ways I think about that when I hear the question. So, one is that energy, and there's something about the presence of another or a few other people. And sometimes within my work, I set up the short 40- to 50-minute work-together sessions. And I also have done this with the coaching, where we enter into the Zoom Room, we quickly state what each of us is working on, we turn off the mics, keep the camera on or off depending on the person's preference, and then we check in at the end. And it is without fail people tell me how motivating it is. Yet very few people initiate it, and even myself, I initiate it only occasionally. So, there's that piece of it. And then, there's free groups like Focusmate, I'm not sure if you've heard of Focusmate, where you can go and you can sign up and simply, you're paired with somebody anywhere in the world who's also signed up for that same time, and it's exactly the same format. The other piece around accountability is verbally telling somebody what you intend to do, again, in the workplace. That could be your manager, that could be a co-worker, that could be either for a short- or long-term project, and then setting for yourself the commitment to follow through, and it might be that you reach out to somebody else for support, if you don't quite have the skills to be able to do that task by yourself, or you work with somebody on the project in terms of a collaborative piece. So, there's a few different ways of embedding accountability. And it can be very, very helpful for the perfectionist who tends to be consumed with the self-doubt, the high standards, just working with somebody else saying, 'Hey, that's good enough', or 'You said you were going to get it done by this date, now's the time to stop working on this.'

Jeremy Cline 24:18
It's a really interesting concept, which I've kind of heard of, but it's certainly not something that I'm aware of takes place in many workplaces. So, this idea of work-together sessions. And I think certainly in some professions, particularly my own as a lawyer, I mean, for the most part, we just get on with it. I mean, even whether we're in the office, yeah, in the office you might chat to people, but whether you're in the office or whether you're at home, you just get on with what you're doing and someone else gets on with what they're doing, and very often, they're not interrelated. But the idea of saying to someone, 'Hey, I'd like you to keep me accountable, checking that I'm not spending too long on this, I'm going to do this in this space, I'd like you to kind of check on on me, and similarly, I'll do the same for you.' I think it's an interesting idea. I'm just trying to imagine the idea of suggesting it to someone at work, it just sounds a bit weird, I think, if you're not used to the idea.

Isabeau Iqbal 25:25
It could be. In my non-coaching work, a lot of our work is very collaborative. These Zoom work-together sessions, they're not collaborative in that we could be on different teams, and we're just working on our own thing. I don't know if you have Slack at your workplace, or something equivalent to that, but that's kind of how I started, was that I posted a message on Slack, and a few people joined, really enjoyed it, the fact that we only have 50 minutes or 45 by the time we report in, you know, report out, really forces people to say, 'Alright, this is what I can get done in 45 minutes, this is my intention.' And then, like I said, without fail, there is an energy that goes along with that, too.

Jeremy Cline 26:17
One of the things that I hear is a variation on 'done is better than perfect'. I think it was the founder of LinkedIn who said something along the lines of, if you're not embarrassed by the first iteration of your product, then you've shipped too late, or something like that.

Isabeau Iqbal 26:36
Okay, I like that. I like that.

Jeremy Cline 26:39
See, you've got that, done is better than perfect. Just get it done, and you can always tweak it or whatever later. But on the other hand, you might have something which you are producing for customers, for clients, in the context of what we're doing now. If I'm not happy with a podcast episode, then why should I expect anyone else to want to listen to it? So, you've got two very much competing, or at least I perceive them as being competing ideas. How do you kind of marry the two?

Isabeau Iqbal 27:17
Yeah, I think it goes back to intention. So, if I can go back to that video example, the videos that I have been creating, I am embarrassed in some cases, I meet that criteria of the LinkedIn quote there. But my intention is, and when I say embarrassed, I mean they're not slick. What I do feel good about is that the content, at least from feedback, has helped, one or, in many cases, more than one person. Right? If somebody replies and comments on it, it's usually reflective that it's helped a few more than that. And so, to go back to your question, yeah, I think that we do want to feel good about at least some aspect of it, setting our intention earlier on, because as perfectionists, we may enter into a project, and you may recognise yourself, Jeremy, in this, or some of the listeners will recognise themselves, you set out to do a project, and it starts as this, I'm drawing a box with my hands. And then suddenly, you get into it, and the box keeps expanding and expanding and expanding. And soon, it is massive, to the point that the person's overwhelmed, and the project has now become so big that, who knows when it will be released. So, this is where I do think that purpose and intention are really, really critical to think about, right? Have I met my own standards, and of course, according to the definition, perfectionist have impossible standards, but I actually think that perfectionists don't necessarily need to have impossible standards. And if you've met your standard, and perhaps you need to bounce that off somebody, perhaps you have learned that your own judgement might be a little bit questionable at this point, and there would be benefit with speaking with a colleague and saying, 'Okay, this is my intention. How does this sound? What do you think?' And then, really sticking to that. Right? So, honouring yourself once you've set that intention, and then deciding, alright, do I release it? Has it met the purpose that I intended to? And yes, there might be 15 other steps that I want to do in future iterations, and I will get to those.

Jeremy Cline 29:44
The key here, it seems to me, is clarifying our intention. And that is probably where some things might fall down. So, you might start a project or a pursuit, you might have a kind of vague idea what it is that you wanted to do for you, but maybe it's not all that clear. And so, what you've described happens. You lose sight of it, and then the project just expands, you kind of add bits onto it. So, in a podcast context, you might say, 'I will have done the podcast, but let's add some YouTube to this. Let's add this. Let's add that.' And you kind of lose track of why it was you're doing it in the first place. I'm sure there's an entire episode in this question, but how can you set a sufficiently clear intention that, provided you keep that in mind, and you're focusing on that, you always stay within the rails of what you're trying to achieve together?

Isabeau Iqbal 30:47
Yeah, well, that might involve some prototyping first of all. So, let's take the podcast as an example. Perhaps before you ever did your first podcast interview, there may have been a number of steps ahead of time to give you information that you needed, in order to be able to say, 'Alright, once I actually launch the podcast, these are all the steps that I really will need to consider, this is approximately the time it will take, these are the resources, this is the support', etcetera, etcetera. So, it may be that there are multiple steps of breaking down the project ahead of time, before in your own mind you're really launching it. But in my mind, of course, that planning is part of the launching. And this could be also where people perhaps don't do sufficient planning or thought work, is around, I have this project, I have this as so-called vague intention, and then you might be surprised by all the things that were unplanned, unpredictable, but perhaps, if you've built in that time ahead, to really do some exploring, and to have that mindset of, okay, I'm experimenting at this stage, and then I'm going to make a more informed decision once I have a little bit more evidence and practice.

Jeremy Cline 32:15
I want to circle this back to kind of where we started and speak to the person who is listening to this and think to themselves, 'Oh, yeah, that's me. I'm someone who spends four hours researching the TV or spends far too long writing a report at work. I am the perfectionist.' Can you give that person one or two tips about where to start with making changes which will help them, so that this characteristic serves them and doesn't become a hindrance?

Isabeau Iqbal 32:51
Yeah, absolutely. So, I guess four quick tips. One is what you've just said, is to recognise what's going on. I think that is the starting place. The other one that we've talked about a fair bit today is around connecting with your purpose. And that could be in a few the practical purpose, also your bigger purpose, what is it that you intend with whatever it is that you are doing. The other pieces have to do with really being selective about what you choose to control. So, there are so many things that you could as a perfectionist be paying attention to. And if you can go into the whatever it is, the task, the project, and say, 'Alright, these are the pieces where I'm going to exercise control. Other pieces are going to be perhaps handed over to other people.' And by handed over, I mean like, whether someone likes what you've done, or whether somebody actually approves or not. And then, the final tip is around loving your decisions. Because as we've also talked about, perfectionists tend to revisit and revisit and revisit and doubt themselves and struggle with the indecision. But once you have made a decision, whether that's about what you control, or whatever it is, you know, the level at which you're going to complete the task, is to love that decision and not revisit it completely. You can revisit it after, but honour yourself for whatever decisions you make. And that will allow for a lot of more energy and focus. And then, you can always evaluate, reflect and change things for next time.

Jeremy Cline 34:38
Perfect. Love those tips. You've already mentioned the book, Tiny Habits, and also Focusmate. If someone wants to dive into this a little bit further, do you have any other resources that you'd recommend they take a look at?

Isabeau Iqbal 34:53
Well, this isn't a book specifically on perfectionism, but I'm currently reading the book How to Change by Dr. Katy Milkman. And I had heard her on a podcast, and so, she writes, well, clearly, she writes about how to change, and I think that there's a lot of wisdom in what she's writing about that can also apply to anyone, and certainly to perfectionists.

Jeremy Cline 35:24
Brilliant. And if people want to get a hold of you, where would you like them to go?

Isabeau Iqbal 35:28
My website is probably the best place, at first name, last name, isabeauiqbal.com. And I'm also very active on LinkedIn. So, LinkedIn is another good spot.

Jeremy Cline 35:38
Fab. I'll put links to all of those in the show notes. Isabeau, fascinating conversation, but also very practical. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Isabeau Iqbal 35:47
Thank you, Jeremy.

Jeremy Cline 35:49
Okay, hope you enjoyed that episode with Isabeau Iqbal. Perfectionism is a great example of a strength which can turn into a weakness if it's overused or used in the wrong way. Attention to detail, diligence or desire to do right by others, these are all great characteristics to have. But as Isabeau was saying, when you start to lose sight of the goal or purpose, then these characteristics can take over and prevent you from finishing the job. It was really interesting, how Isabeau tied this into other things we've talked about on the podcast, like imposter syndrome and self-doubt. And like so many things, it's a question of finding that balance. And I'm really grateful that Isabeau provided that framework at the end to help you deal with perfectionism. There's a summary of everything we talked about, a full transcript and links to the resources mentioned, and where you can find Isabeau, and they're all this week at changeworklive.com/125, that's changeworklife.com/125. And what I'd love for you to do whilst you're there is to share this episode. I guarantee that you know someone for whom perfectionism is a trait. It might manifest itself at work for them, or it might manifest itself outside of work, say in their capacity as a parent, just wanting everything to be right for their child or children. You're going to know someone that this episode can help. So, do please be generous in your sharing and pass it on. We've got another great interview coming up in two weeks' time, so make sure that you've subscribed to the show if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you then. Cheers. Bye.

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