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To Be or Not to Be... a Perfectionist

Feb 28, 2022

I used to take pride in being a perfectionist.  I thought it was an accomplishment that I wouldn't settle for "sub-standard" work.  Whatever that was...

At the time I didn't realise that it was a crutch for me.  If my work wasn't what I considered perfect, then I couldn't put it out there because would be detrimental to my reputation so I delayed and perfected.  There was a hidden benefit that I didn't acknowledge.  If I was so consumed fine-tuning my work, I didn't have to take the risk of putting it out into the world for judgment.

But there was also a hidden cost.  I stopped taking any real action.  My business stopped growing.  No one else got the benefit of what I was creating  - I didn't get the benefit of learnings from feedback and the magic fuel I used to feed my dreams dissipated under the harsh weight of my judgment.  My time was consumed by the illusive goal of perfection.

Through coaching and awareness I moved on the journey from being a perfectionist and started becoming comfortable with putting work out into the world that wasn't always perfect.  For me this looked like doing the best job I could within the timeframe I allowed myself and then moving on to the next step.

I started getting some momentum and it felt good (and bad when I fell back into judgment mode) so I kept experimenting and challenging my perfectionist thinking.  I found out how much I love showing up as the "un-glossy" version of myself in my work and life because it feels more real.

Today I no longer call myself a perfectionist.  I don't like the label.  I am a perfectly imperfect human being and I was placed here to become the best version of myself which doesn't include striving for unattainable standards.  I am attracted to other people in life who share their imperfections and humanity and I want to show up in the same way.

It doesn't mean that I never get back on the hamster wheel of chasing perfectionism (usually when I'm feeling scared and trying to avoid something...) but I'm able to recognise it for what it is and know that it doesn't serve me.  I can choose to be or not to be... and I choose imperfection - action - failing - learning - succeeding and authenticity every day of the week!

Time is your most valuable resource...

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