In the prelude post on the lessons I learnt over the last year, I spoke about how I had come to the conclusion that, when it came to why my goals were not working out, I was the chief blocker. There were actionable, practical things that I did not do because I thought them ineffective. There were also reasons why I did not get started even on the things I'd decided to do. Those reasons are the topic of today's lesson.
Lesson 2 - Perfectionism will kill more dreams than it will ever perfect.
I did not feel good enough. I did not have the right skills. I was not social media savvy and I certainly did not have any graphic design skills. The incredible vision I had in my head of the perfect brand that I wanted for Coeur et Maman, coupled with the exquisite established brands that I aspired to, crippled me. I would compare every single thing I did, everything I put out, every behind the scene effort and every imperfect engagement with industry experts with what I felt was the gold standard. Soon the perceived fear of failure, the imagined embarrassment at being sub-par, got the better of me.
"I'm not sure who I thought was judging me against this impossible standard I had set for myself"
I would spend an inordinate amount of time working on something before sharing it, or before approaching a company I wanted to work with, so that when I did finally put myself out there I would look brilliant, exceptional, and well, perfect! Over time the fear of failing at that goal made blooming sure that I never began in the first instance. What was the point, if I was going to be so average, so pedestrian?
I'm not sure who I thought was judging me against this impossible standard I had set for myself. A standard that no one else knew anything about. I have since learnt of course, that I'd rather rejoice in my imperfect growth, even if it is glaringly visible to the whole world.
So now I continue to dream big, but start small. No one has any knowledge of the grand schemes in our heads, and they will not judge our efforts against them. You can start imperfectly. In fact, please do start with imperfect action - it will indirectly give others permission to do the same.
I have learned that it is perfectly acceptable to grow through practice. What you see other people doing, putting out into the world, what you are describing as perfect, is simply improvement and enhancement. Earned over time through practice, trial and error.
I've also learned not to spend so much time thinking about what I am going to do, endlessly planning the miniature of my project. Now I simply just start, and adjust sails if I need to as I go along.
Perfectionism will kill more dreams than it will ever perfect.
If you could start something that you have been procrastinating, what would it be? How have you clipped your wings out of fear of being imperfect? Let's connect and learn together in the comments.
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All my love