I want to talk about something I’m seeing again, and again in my work with women.
Perfectionism keeping brilliant ideas from seeing the light.
Perfectionism as a great form of self-sabotage.
Now I have to say, for those that know me well, you must be laughing thinking, what? Cris teaching about perfectionism? But hey, you know the saying, we teach what we need to learn or have had to learn the most. So Yes, as a proud Scorpio in a slow recovery from perfectionism, I believe I am equipped to talk about it and how it feels when we don’t let it run our lives.
It goes something like this... oh Cris, I’m waiting to get it just right and then I’ll make my website live, or Hey I’m just waiting for X and X and X to be right and then I’ll share my work on Instagram. I also see it in subtle ways like spending way too much time on research, pondering for too long on pricing strategies or waiting to finish a few books before we start. This applies to courses too. If I study this and this and that, then I’ll be ready to launch.
Well, here’s what I’m learning.
Perfectionism can be a major waste of time. And also, a huge waste of opportunities to learn and get real feedback on your ideas, your market, your offerings.
When we sit on our desks tinkering for hours on a project or a business idea, we take the risk of going way too far into the iteration and polishing and tweaking route and unnecessarily working more than needed on something that could be more than enough.
Why not start testing before you are ready?
A few tricks I’ve been using to tame my perfectionist's brain is saying to myself things like:
This is just a draft
I’m just launching a pilot program
I’m gonna just test a few ideas
No one is going to read what I do until a year from now, so better start practising now
Those words, combined with a tight deadline AND external accountability have helped me take my dreams and visions into reality in a much shorter span of time.
Now let’s be honest. The perfectionist in me still sees the bits of the logo that are incomplete, the copywriting that could be better, the video lighting that isn’t quite right. BUT, testing, and launching and having conversations with my ideal client has shown me that all those bits and pieces don’t really matter that much.
If your heart, your core, your intentions behind what you do are right, then I think that is enough, for now, to start doing your work and connecting with your tribe.
The gold question behind perfectionism is, what’s behind it?
In my experience, a deep desire to be loved, to feel like we are enough, to have a sense of control and belonging. There is also fear.
A truly powerful fear. And if perfectionism has been your habit for a while you’ll get me when I say it can be terrifying to share something with the world that you haven't completely exhausted yourself, your brain and your heart for.
I’ve been practising the art of ‘progress, not perfection’ and ‘imperfect action’ for maybe a year and a half now and I have to tell you, none of my greatest fears have turned out to be right so far.
There has been truly nothing but gifts along the way.
I’ve tested ideas that had been lingering in my heart for a while. I learn at a rapid state who I’m here to serve, I practice my skills more often and pick up quickly where I need to get better.
So, if you happen to be paralyzed in perfectionism, if you’ve had an idea whispering in your heart for a while, grab my hand and let’s walk an imperfect but honest path. Together we’ll practice courage and vulnerability and self-compassion A LOT. I will be there to celebrate taking your ideas to life!
And if perfectionism tries to trick you in it all not being enough, I’m here to tell you that is just a trap!
Resonates? Is this you?
Would love to know!