I have this great idea, but I would need this… I would wear that but I would have to put it with this, and I don’t have that yet. I don’t know something seems off about this, let me look it over and think about it. It is not tidy enough. No I don’t like the way that looks, what will people think if I let them see me like that. I need to have it all together first. That is not how I pictured it to look.
Does this sound like an inner conversation you have ever had with yourself? If you are anything like me, you have struggled with the constant battle of making everything perfect. Everything always needs to be in place, with the right resources. God forbid if you did anything that was half way done. Until the feeling of perfection comes over you, it is just not good enough. For as far as I can remember I have been extremely critical of myself. Most times in the midst of my perfectionism, I would get the “don’t worry about what other people say or think,” speech from my family and friends. Little did they know what other people had to say was my secondary obstacle. The real set back was myself.
It would always start with this perfect idea. I would come up with my next plan, project or creation. The excitement was immense and I would get right to beginning my new venture. At first it all seems seamless and straightforward. I will share my new love with those I trust and the support was always there. I would also share for some accountability… because I am not new to my self sabotaging ways. Eagerly I put in extreme effort to complete my vision. But as the time came closer to making it public, I would begin to slowly step on the brakes.
A lot of the times it would start with me identifying something that can be done a bit better. I would begin to change things, switch around how I want it to look. Then I would convince myself that I need to work on it more. I would shove it aside and go into a feeling of never-ending criticism over my own creation.
Most times it is not this drastic, but every time I have to battle with my perfectionist mind. I just want everything to be perfect, everything needs to be done in a particular way. Growing up, I had a mother that strived to keep things as tidy as possible, especially hygiene and your outer appearance. Maybe that is where it came from? But all I know is I had a huge problem.
As a creative person, this can be such a disservice to yourself. If you feel nothing is ever good enough, you never get anything done. I know this because I lived this. I constantly felt like a person with loads to share in this world, but I was being put in a headlock by my own criticism everyday. The criticism usually won, and I was left feeling defeated. I was my own dream killer.
Finally identify that this habit needed to be dealt with I had to begin to get uncomfortable with the fact that… NOTHING IS GOING TO BE PERFECT!!!! Goosebumps filled my body when I first tried to swallow this pill. I had no way of ever making anything perfect. I just had the ability to do what I can and try my best. So I started putting things out as soon as they were complete. I would cringe after hitting the final publish button. Or with physical creations, I would feel like the new kid that entered a classroom months after school started. But I realized I created something in my mind that was not real. Perfectionism is not a realistic way of doing things. I had to end the relationship, it was time to part ways.
“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.” ~ Kim Collins
However, it did take some time to fully get over perfection. There were steps I had to make daily to get over the relationship we had. The following were things I had to do to ensure I would successfully rid myself of the perfectionist mind:
- Daily affirmations that oppose perfection. “Someone out there needs what I have today”
- Commit to sharing one creation a week. – While working on your craft no matter what it is, share it with the world. Share your process if you want to also.
- Always remember that you will never please everyone, your purpose is not to please everyone. – As much as perfectionism is an inner battle, it is to please others. The sooner you come to terms that it is impossible to please everyone. The better you will fell about who you are and what you are capable of doing.
- Not everyone is going to like it, but not everyone is going to hate it either. – The good news is, someone out there is waiting for you to do what you do best. Focus on that.
- The more you do the better it gets! – Practice makes perfect. Get on the horse and soon you will be a professional.
Bottom line is it is ok to strive for your best. But over obsessing to the point that it hinders you is not the way we should live. Break up with perfection, and strive for improvement. The beauty is found in your process.
You Are Loved, xo