Perfectionism is a total trap, it’s a devil of sorts really, keeping us small and afraid. Somewhere along the line I got this crazy idea in my head that the people who have the things I want, are perfect. That everybody else (or at least somebody else) knows the perfect way to do this or that, whatever it may be, and that somehow I just need to figure out the secrets and the tricks. One of the things that I’ve become somewhat obsessed with is the idea that certain tools or ways of behaving will lead me to this “secret.”
I love lists. I always have and I love productivity, I’m constantly looking to new ways, new systems, ways to do things better and more effectively. Part of this is just a hobby something I really enjoy another part of it though is much worse than that it’s an addiction of sorts really to perfection. This stems from the thought that if I just find the right system it will work. ALL. OF. IT.
The secret is this there is not a secret the only way it’s all ever going to work is if I let it, if I’m patient and courageous, if I’m willing to take chances and to forgive myself and others. There is no notebook, no app, no perfect solution to all of the problems.
Here are a few things I’m trying to focus on because I think they help me to stop this trap:
Let Stuff Go.
Sometimes the way I do things just has to work, I don’t have time to revamp every system. We are limited by nature, we cannot do everything and that is okay. In fact, it’s a good thing if we can just admit it. So for me I have to just realize my limitations and let stuff go.
Pick the Most Important.
Don’t get me wrong there are experts out there who can teach us SO much and I love the accessibility of people through the internet today. I think it’s about just realizing that we cannot learn all of the things right now. So it may be best to take it slowly and pick the most important.
If there’s one thing I’m sure of in life it’s this. I never look good trying to be someone I’m not. My guess is nobody does, because it’s really quite contrary to the whole point of things. So while we can certainly grow and learn (and we have to) we don’t need to become anybody else. We just need to be true to us.
I’ve been working with an awesome business coach, Melanie Toner, and we had this conversation that really opened my eyes to this fact. I’m by nature an information seeker, I like to ask around, get feedback take a ton of surveys and then see what seems the best way to do things. There is NOTHING inherently wrong with this. It’s good to make calculated decisions, right?! Well yes but part of the issue for me is this. I let it stop me from being me. I let the perfection trap stop me from doing my best stuff, my best work, in all areas of my life. This is such a shame.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you feel like you’re waiting until you have it right? Do you feel like you look around to everyone else and think oh if only I had this degree, or that credential, or could afford x, y, or z? If so, know this, you ARE NOT ALONE. I am right there with ya. Right there with ya.
So now what? Should we sit here and wallow and feel bad for ourselves and throw in the towel. Hell no, we shouldn’t.
We should be the most gentle, kind, loving versions of ourselves and speak in our quietest most understanding voices and say, “Hey, you, yea you. You’re awesome. You are ALREADY perfectly imperfect and all that good shit. Own it.”
Then we should grab a hold of someone we love, hug them tight, tell them we’re super syked to be on this nutty journey with them and ask them if they will stick by us even when our to-do lists are too long, and the perfection trap is getting us all caught up? Guess what, they’re going to say yes. You know how I know? Because you are that awesome.
Keep on keeping on, friends.