There are two different types of people out there in the world. There are the perfectionists and then there are the rest of us. You may call us Normal, slobs, aloof, many other names for those who don’t see the need for the amount of detail you see. You may be pushing a pixel around for two days trying to decide which place it looks the best. Has the best impact and will wow everybody who sees it. While a slob may get it close enough and not worry about the pixel level placement because shoot who’s going to see that one pixel on a 4K screen anyway?
While you may take pride in the art of your work. You won’t release anything till it is 100% perfect. Which in reality means what? You have released 2 pieces of your art? Doesn’t seem like that is all that much. You want people to enjoy the fruit of your labor of love, right? To do that You will have to start producing a few more pieces of your work. How do you do that? Well, you have to start looking at life in a more reckless manner. You have to drop the Perfectionist Schtick.
Now if you look around you will see that there are several people who produce a lot of the same style of work you produce. You may produce paintings or carvings or maybe like me you do a lot of writing. If you have seen any of my other works you are probably thinking I am doing very well with my ABCs. I am no Bill Shakespeare by any stretch of the imagination but I can give Tommy in 3rd grade a run for his money right! Yet if you think about it you are reading my work right now and that is the objective.
It would be great if you could always wax poetic verses, and use flowery adjectives to embellish the verbiage you are using. To have that just right shibboleth that conveys a slight bit of convivial joy while not dipping into the realm of sounding puerile. Right! Yet does that really work? Perhaps you are working so hard on being perfect for another reason. That’s what I want to discuss this week.
Problem with Perfectionism
What is the problem with being a perfectionist? There are several things that crop up when you are trying to be a perfectionist, and it is more than being annoying to that view of a slob. There are obvious reasons that trying to get everything just right is just wrong.
Perfection is actually impossible
Yeah believe it or not it is impossible to get it perfect. You can get it right next to it but you will eventually have to say it’s good enough. So many times perfectionists like to try and try and try to get their project just right. Why do perfectionists get so wrapped up with something that is actually impossible to achieve?
The reasons vary as all things with humans do but it mainly centered down to one very primal emotion. That emotion is fear. We are afraid of not being good enough. There is fear that we will look like a doofus, or that we will be rejected. There is the fear of being seen as an imposter. So many times that fear gets in your way. You can start to see why I believe that fear is our number one enemy.
Perfection is fear talking
When you are trying to be perfect most likely it is fear that is keeping you from being able to make the big step of putting yourself out there for the world to see. It takes balls to open yourself up for the possibility of criticism. Will people make comments? yes, they will but those people who make the criticism are more often commenting on their own limitations as opposed to your actual shortcomings. Yeah, they may find a misspelled word, but the fact that you actually took the chance their own fear wouldn’t allow them to make is what they are commenting on. So Embrace the bravery of putting yourself out into the public for the world to see, because you took the chance the vast majority will never be able to do.
You are trying to hide your weakness
This fear is also one people avoid. It is also called the impostor syndrome. We fight with ourselves so much in whether we deserve the attention we are getting. Especially when that attention is good and positive. If it makes us feel good we want to reject it. Which is the opposite of what we really want to have? How backward is that?
When you are trying to be perfect I would suggest you first look at why you are holding back. Yeah, your mind is very clever at making some strong excuses as to why we don’t deserve the accolades we are receiving. Yet if you follow your fear, and use that fear as a compass, you will see the truth that your brain is actually trying to shield you from. It is hiding the fact that you are actually doing something great.
Yet if you avoid that truth you will keep trying to get everything just right and perfect so that you don’t have to face the false narrative that you are not worthy.
Throwing excess stress and anxiety upon yourself
When you are playing the perfectionist what is the feeling you have if you try to put that work out into the world? You feel the stress of anxiety and worry. Those emotions are not all that fun to feel. So you keep your work hidden. Which accents the sensation of anxiety and stress, because you are now worrying about what if someone finds out about your effort? What if they don’t like it? When in all reality if you stop resisting those emotions and allow them to live you will end the suffering you are putting on yourself by not resisting.
Do you want to stop the stress? Then face the short period of discomfort and grow by saying your work is good enough and put it out there for the world to see.
Perfection is self-defeating
When you are playing the perfectionist you are actually proving yourself to be all the bad things you are telling yourself. You are denying yourself the joy of success, you are showing yourself that you will never have the recognition for your efforts. All because you are refusing to let your light shine.
The only way you can prove whether you are good or not is by letting people see your work. Being able to prove that you are tough enough to withstand the perceived criticisms from those who wished they had the courage you have. I will give you a secret on those who do criticize, the words don’t hurt much and the pain only lasts a short while.
Trying to be perfect can bring on mental health problems
The stress of trying to be perfect all the time is mentally draining. You try and try and try to do the impossible. Because of that, you can often get yourself into some pretty dark areas of your mind. Those dark areas can then manifest into physical problems.
When looking at perfection there are two different types of perfection there is physical and activity perfection. Putting out works of are times that you are trying to make your actions perfect while physical perfection is where you are trying to have yourself look a certain way.
Granted there are times that changing something about your body that you don’t like, can help. Yet in reality that is a rare occurrence. That is because people believe that physical changes to their bodies will make them happy. Changes to your body will never make you happy. That is because the only way you can be happy is if you allow yourself to be happy. You can’t be happy unless you accept yourself warts and all. So if you want to achieve the happiness you have to love yourself first. Just the way you are.
Sadly many people find that they do some pretty horrific act upon themselves because they don’t want to love themselves. They see only the fat around their middle, the extra-large schnoz on their face. So they resist loving themselves and will become bulimic or even anorexic. Sometimes they will resort to self-harming action like cutting. If it gets too bad people will often resort to trying to end the pain they are in when in all reality they can end it but seeing how wonderful they really are.
This Is the perfection I have mostly been talking about but even then if you fight against perfection you can cause a lot of problems. The biggest is the failure to launch. You deny your dreams the reality you want. All because you are trying to achieve a level that is impossible.
Each time you let perfectionism win you increase the self-doubt that you can actually do what you are setting out to do. Don’t do that to your dreams, they want to help you be great. Let them turn into realities.
How to defeat the Perfectionist
There are several ways you can drop the perfectionist thoughts, though they will always stay bouncing around in your head. So thinking that you will forever be gone from them is actually unrealistic. Yet, there are some ways you can sidestep those irritating and dream cruising thoughts.
Be OK with being OK
First off when you are done call it done. Maybe you are writing a blog post and the moment you finish it up, run a spell checker and grammar checker through it. Even read over it once. After that hit publish. Let it be OK. The purpose of your blog post is to inform your readers they cant read if they can’t see it. Let your work be B- work. The information is the important part not so much how well it is phrased.
You can also tweak the changes later. So even when you find a clumsy phrased sentence you can go in and make the needed change. Google will like you for that change because you’re updating your page and google see that change as the page is still active. If you have problems with being able to release a piece of work then give it to your good friend and let them release it. You can always make more changes later.
Get a Coach
Well of course I am going to say get a coach. Coaches are great motivators for several different reasons. First, they hold your feet to the fire and a good coach will call you on your BS. You may have a good friend who can do this and if so then lean on them. Either way having an accountability partner can help out tremendously.
Another reason coaches are good is that you do pay for them. Why would you spend money on a coach if you are not going to take their advice and exercise? That would be like taking some money and throwing it in the trash. You wouldn’t do that and the coach doesn’t want you to do that either. If you are looking for a coach you can sign up for a discovery call and we will
Join a Mastermind group
This is along with the same reasons as a coach except you get the reassuring knowledge that you are not alone. There are other people who are struggling with their problems right alongside you. You and a group of other people are all there helping each other out. Growing and making discoveries about what you can do. You will see how often we lie to ourselves about what our limits are. You get the opportunity to make great strides in your push to get better.
A there are several good masterminds groups found throughout the internet, or you can start your own. A good mastermind you can turn to is The Conclave of Men
So as I wrap up find out why you are trying to be perfect. You will see that fear is really the reason you are holding back. Face that fear step into it. Yeah, you will be a little uncomfortable for a very short time and when you arrive on the other side you will be stranger for it. So call that project done when it is done and let it go.