Humanity Over Perfectionism
Confession: I’m a recovering perfectionist. I used to wear it as a badge of honour.
After all, it was the perfect “weakness” to cite during job interviews (pun intended). They ask you to talk about your strengths: organized ✔️, team player ✔️, shows initiative & oozes creativity ✔️✔️. Then they ask about your weaknesses. . .
For a split second you sit there wondering just HOW honest you can actually be or if never making your bed in the morning counts as the kind of flaw they’re looking for. And then you say. . .
”Well, I’m kinda a perfectionist.” sheepishly shrugging your shoulders . You know it isn’t really a BAD flaw. I mean it kinda says you’re devoted to quality, you won’t skip the important details that others overlook and they can be damn sure you’ll never hand in a half-assed job…right?
Perfectionism is the flaw we’ve all been brainwashed into believing might actually be an asset. Thanks to social media it’s more prevalent than ever as we all attempt to live up to the perfect moments captured on Facebook and Instagram. However, if you squint your eyes, tilt your head a little and look at it in juuuust the right light you’ll see beneath the shiny exterior.
Perfectionism is fear.
And fear’s only job is to keep you safe. Sometimes fear saves your life. The rest of the time though, fear holds you back.
If you look a little closer you can see that Perfectionism is just the socially acceptable version of feeling not. good. enough. It’s the worry that everyone will find out you’re really just a fraud, figuring your shit out as you go so you hide behind the shiny veneer of being “perfect”.
Nothing you create, say or do will ever live up to the perfect vision dancing in your head. Whether it’s the most glittering live event, the captivating swirl of colours you can see on the canvas or the scathing comeback you should have said - 3 hours ago. If you listen to that demanding, critical voice in your head you’ll end up staying silent, leaving your creations unfinished (or unstarted), walking away from jobs and clients because the fear of not being good enough is calling the shots.
The things you dream up, your ideas, stories, programs, packages, creations of all sorts will never match the perfect vision you’ve been nurturing in your head. That’s okay. They’ll still be beautiful, valuable and useful. They need a little room to breathe and evolve in order to live in the real world. Their imperfection isn’t a reflection of your worth (not one little bit) if anything, it’s a reflection of your humanity.
Perfectionism will kill your business.
The thing you never finished. . .
The thing you were too scared to launch. . .
The thing you failed to ship. . .
The 1/2 finished course. . .
The client you turned down. . .
The collaboration you walked away from . . .
All of them beautiful expressions of your unique genius. All stuck in the shadows because they didn’t measure up to your ideal.
It’s time to stop seeing perfectionism as a socially acceptable weakness, to stop wearing it as a badge of honour.
Embrace the part of you that worries about not being good enough. Embrace the part of you that feels like a fraud. Love it up. Reassure it. And then. . .
get back to work. Make brilliantly imperfect and 100% human things and put them out into the world.