Is Perfectionism Holding you Back?

by | Mar 30, 2016 | Perfectionism, Procrastination | 2 comments

I’ve spent most of my life making excuses for procrastinating.  I say things like “I want it to be perfect”, “I need to get everything lined up and ready”, “I haven’t thought it all out yet”, “I need to make a plan”.  It’s always been my truth.  My story.  My life.

Truth is I’m not a perfectionist.  Truth is I was scared.

Scared to do whatever the task on hand was for whatever the reason.  Whether it would bring me joy in the end or not.  Because I was afraid of the “in between” piece.  I knew what I was supposed to get done and what the end result was supposed to be but it was that river in between of uncertainty and not knowing.  It causes paralysis.  I can’t be alone here in my thinking, right?

While I was in CA to get my life coach training, we talked a lot about this.  I did a lot of whining and said I wanted to be one of those people that got sh*t done.  I reaaalllllyyy did!!!  And every time there was an opportunity to step up and coach someone I would shrink in my seat as they looked around the room to volunteer. I was sure others could do it better and I just needed more practice.

I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s terrified. Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, “I’m not good enough and I will never be good enough.”

The above is a quote from the book Big Magic from author Elizabeth Gilbert.  TRUTH.

As we dug deeper into my quest for perfection, fear was found to be my nemesis.  I was terrified to do something wrong, make a mistake.  All of these what ifs would just consume me and leave me in a tiz. Paralysis my old friend would be back and again, things would come to a screeching halt.  All in the name of “perfectionism”.

Fast forward and now I laugh at that word!  I laugh at how it used to have its evil grip on me but at the same time it makes me sad to think that I’ve missed doing fun things with my kids because I just needed to finish this one little thing that would make whatever I was doing perfect.  Or all of the missed opportunities when I was in the corporate world where I could have taken a chance and done some amazing work with some amazing people.  But I sat it out in fear.

Is this you too?  If so, try this little trick next time you find yourself trying to make something perfect:

Ask yourself if your idea of perfect is everyone else’s idea of perfect.  If you say yes, you better have proof to back that up ;P because you can’t know that for sure to be true.  And what if your idea of something being “just ok” is someone else’s idea of perfect?  What if there is no “perfect” and it’s something you made up? (<– this is true- think long and hard about that one.)  xoxo

If you want to test me out on this theory, contact me for a free mini-session and we can talk it out!

2 Comments

  1. Michelle

    This totally makes sense!!

    Reply
  2. Michelle

    Never thought of perfection as being fear.

    Reply

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