Go Nowhere Fast With Perfectionism!
Written by Kathy Weller
Art by Kathy Weller
It’s challenging to stay on top of the perfectionism monster. I talk about this a lot because it is something I am constantly fighting myself. So, it’s a regular conversation i’m having with me (and with you guys, if you watch my YouTube, read this blog, or follow me on Instagram or Facebook).
Beating this behavior is not a one-and-done thing. It’s ongoing, like a rash you constantly have to control. (Sorry, gross but true.) Consistent vigilance is required to not allow the perfectionism beast to keep you from producing, trying, starting. ANYTHING. At ALL.
I truly think that MOST— if not ALL — of us, deal with this. If we THINK we DON’T, we’re probably just REALLY, REALLY GOOD at managing this behavior on the regular.
At every turn. To the detriment of your own brilliance. Your brilliance that the world needs. Your brilliance that WILL HELP SOMEONE, somewhere. Overthinking can be very poisonous behavior, and many a time we don’t even realize we are engaging in it. So, keep overthinking it, keep tweaking it without hitting that “publish” button, or whatever the case may be— and you will have NOTHING to show for it, and NOWHERE to move forward from.
• Procrastination, with a fancy title.
A creative, respectable sounding method of procrastination. When you hear the word “perfectionism”, there is a little bit of reverence, a little bit of pride attached to it. When you hear the word in context, it comes off as complimentary in some way, right? But, whether we see it or not, it’s just another procrastination crutch.
NONE of us wants to admit that insecurity is a vulnerability we deal with. But, let’s be honest here. Perfectionism is really just another way of acting out: “I don’t feel like IT’S good enough.” Translation: “I don’t feel like I AM good enough”. So, it all boils down to not executing on something because you’re afraid of being judged. Guess what? We are ALL human. And this is classic HUMAN behavior.
The fact is, you WILL be judged. We will ALL be judged, at one time or another. By SOMEONE. This is ALSO classic human behavior.
Get over it, and don’t let this drive or edit what you do. YOU are the boss of you, no one else. You cannot please everyone. And, YOU CANNOT PLEASE EVERYONE. YOU. CANNOT. PLEASE. EVERYONE.
Let it sink in.
So, cut yourself a break. Okay? Seriously.
Learning your triggers
When you sense you’re covering up your procrastination with some form of perfectionism, acknowledge it. Every situation is different, so there’s no single answer to solve everyone’s specific tendencies. However, if you have the self-awareness to see how your own perfectionism monster has surfaced and how it is presenting itself and keeping you from moving forward, you can act on it pretty quickly and effectively.
Get out of your own way. Getoutofyourownway. Get. Out. Of. Your. Own. Way.
Stop thinking. JUST DO. EXECUTE.
(There! Don’tcha feel better, now? Trust me, you WILL. A weight will lift, and you will feel magic. Maybe a little vulnerable, but still magic.)
Stop over-planning. Work on EXECUTING.
You’re freezing yourself out of actually DELIVERING, with all this over-planning nonsense.
DEFINITELY plan. You MUST plan.
But: plan ENOUGH. Plan EFFECTIVELY. Know when enough is enough.
Try this exercise:
When you’re stuck in the eternal planning loop, Just STOP with the planning altogether. Put down the pen, both hands up. (Like on Top Chef: Hands up, utensils down. Thanks, Padma.)
Work with the outline you’ve got. And then, just start doing. Start executing.
For example, this month, I’m vlogging every day in April. I’m posting a brand new video every day of this month to my YouTube channel. Yes, it is challenging the twinkies out of me. Yes, it is scary to put myself out there, on camera, every. single. day.
So, for me and for MY particular situation here, “Stopping with the Over-Planning and Just Executing” means exactly THIS:
• Work with the outline I’ve got.
• Set up the camera, the lighting.
• Press record, and Go. Yikes, yes, GO.
Perfectionism? Just Say No.
(Now, EDITING without perfectionism? That is a whole other box of pencils. I’m working on that one, too… Trust.)
But look… the bottom line is:
THERE IS NO GROWTH— whether it’s visible or invisible to the rest of the world— WITHOUT MAKING MISTAKES.
Improving just DOESN’T HAPPEN without making mistakes.
So just GO!
Go on and make those mistakes. Even in – gulp – public. Okay?
And, move forward.
Tomorrow is another day. And another video.