An ah-ha moment if you will. One of those awakenings that come about and slap you in the face and run away laughing because it has been such an obvious, staring me in the face kind of revelation. I’m a bit annoyed that this has only presented itself now in such poetic obviousness (yes that’s a word) as I have been stuck for a long, loooong time.
This revelation has to do with Perfectionism and how I have realised that being a perfectionist isn’t so perfect; in fact, it is my no.1 nemesis (that and millionaires shortbread). Yesterday, I put on a brave face and logged into my WordPress account for this site, a blog I started a couple years ago and looked at my last post in utter disbelief – the last post was posted 11 September 2015. Yup, read it and weep, I know I did. What has been holding me back, why have I not written a damn word in nearly two years!??? Why, I keep asking myself…why?
…and then it came to me, the awful paralysing effect of trying to be perfect.
I had somehow come to this ridiculous conclusion that I wasn’t good enough, a thought that chipped away at me for two years until I couldn’t figure out how to claw my way back and pick up where I left off. Sure, work got busy and life got hectic but having a creative outlet like a blog is suppose to help all that. To think of all the blog posts I could have written and photos I could have taken by now – it’s sad and infuriating! The even sadder part to all this is that underneath it all I simply enjoy writing and creating, it brings me joy and I was pushing away my joy because I wanted it to be perfect.
…but here’s what I realised, trying to be perfect is only going to prevent you from moving forward in life. And let’s be honest, a few friends and my Mom are probably the only people who are currently reading my ramblings so all I really need to do right now is to keep writing and make sure I don’t drop in too many F-bombs. The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, you learn and grow and get better day by day but not trying and not taking action is the real tragedy.
Are you hindering yourself, avoiding something that could be moving you forward in life or making you happy? Thinking about starting a business, writing a book, changing career, creating a blog, whatever, and are scared because you don’t think it will be good enough or you are waiting to do that course, get that degree, experience, win lotto because that’s what you need to do or have before you can start? Do you keep telling yourself that there is so much competition and it has already been done, blaa blaa blaa, then I encourage you to throw some caution to the wind and simply ACT!
Some tips to manage perfectionism:
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
Don’t compare – I believe the saying goes something about ‘comparison being the thief of joy…?’ If it is making you feel insignificant, immediately write down 5 things you are grateful for and things that you are really good at…. then move on.
Switch any negative self-talk to positive ones – I can/I will ect…
Get started – just try something. I could have written any number of posts that I never had to publish, instead, I decided to write nothing, nobody would have seen what I’d written and yet I convinced myself that I needed to make it award winning in order to do it – crazy right?
Don’t focus so much on the details, try to see the bigger picture and where you are focusing your efforts. If you feel you can’t move forward until “you have that degree” “Have more money” or “lose 10kg’s” you will never get there. Try instead to define a goal and outline steps and possible ways to get there. As they say “there is more than one way to skin a cat”!
Wanting things to be perfect isn’t all bad, sometimes wanting something to look or feel perfect can simply mean striving to make it great and worth your efforts, perhaps you just need to have it in your consciousness. If however, perfectionism is stopping you from doing what you love then perhaps you should go forward with more reckless abandon and just wait to see the sparks fly – it may be the ticket you need!
Life – it’s not a dress rehearsal!
…and on that note, I am going to act and blog again, it may not be perfect but then… so bloody what, I am up and dressed and alive, and I’ll figure it out as I go along – like I always do.