Ah perfectionism – my old friend. How have you been?
In this solo episode we’re talking about perfectionism – that gnarly little habit of trying to make everything you do so damn impossibly good that …well, you struggle to put the things ‘out there’ in the world.
Perfectionism is something that plagues me – always has and I’ve learned a lot of strategies to work with it over the years. And yet, like all personal growth it’s never ‘one and done’. It’s comes back in a new form, or sometimes you find yourself dealing with the same old pattern but from a different angle. Which can be infuriating in an ‘I thought I was done with this!’ way.
I honestly thought for a long time that ‘being a perfectionist’ was something to strive for – in fact, I laughed out loud the first time a therapist told me I was a perfectionist – ridiculous, I thought, I’m not perfect at anything
I learned over the years that perfectionism is most definitely not about thinking you’re perfect – it’s about never believing you’re good enough and therefore nothing you create, produce, do is going to be good enough. But you try to make things good enough – but you never seem to get there. You can find yourself postponing and reworking projects, cancelling plans, telling yourself things like: It’ll be good enough when… (insert impossible to achieve thing)
Fun fact: procrastination and perfectionism are bosom buddies! They often work in tandem to keep you out of action. A thing isn’t good enough right, so you just need to spend a bit of time improving it, so you do and then it’s still not quite there, so maybe if you add/change/remove this bit it will be better. It’s easy to get stuck in a loop of perfecting and procrastinating and never doing the thing or putting your creation out into the world.
I learned from working with Tanya Geisler that perfectionism/procrastination are just 2 ways the Imposter Complex can show up.
Today I’m sharing my own experience with perfectionism and some of the ways I’ve learned to overcome it and stop getting in my own way (a lot of it has involved embracing the fact that my business and my life is allowed to be messy and imperfect and is can still be bloody good!)
Links mentioned in this episode around perfectionism:
work on the Imposter Complex (and listen to the episode I recorded with Tanya here)
The revamped Meaningful Biz Academy
in all it’s shiny, freshly painted glory
“I think perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified. Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more that a deep existential angst the says, again and again, ‘I am not good enough and I will never be good enough.”
Liz Gilbert, Big Magic