How often do you have a great idea and you talk yourself out of if before you even begin?
Most of us have projects waiting to be tackled.
Many of you have ideas that have sent you into some kind of paralysis, because it’s not necessarily the ‘giving birth’ to these ideas that is the most painful, it’s the fear of rejection once they’re out there.
In this post I’m going to give you 10 ways to stop trying to be perfect.
It’s time to let go of perfect !!
‘Perfect’, that word that I would like to eliminate from the dictionary. It stops you from giving your marvellous gift to the world! That thing that has been ‘knocking on your door’, saying, ‘hey, this is a great idea, and you need to share it!’
Come on, ‘fess up, you’ve been there many times, right? I know I have. If you don’t reply to this post, I’ll think I’m imperfect 🙂 Doesn’t everyone respond to everyone’s posts, articles and brilliant ideas…. (cough) …. no!!!
Experiences that have made me feel scared of not being perfect:
- When I get a great idea and everyone just changes the subject
- When I get a great idea and people point out all of the realistic reasons why it may not work
- the dreaded uncomfortable silence, just long enough for me to want to crawl into a hole with shame because I think I’m better than what I actually am, and I should never have thought I could do that thing
- When I action an idea, and it doesn’t work…. in saying that I mean, the right number of people haven’t come to my course, embraced a webinar, paid attention to my brilliant and well researched posts …
- When I think of an idea, compare it to everyone else’s ideas and mine feels … tiny
- when everyone else seems to work faster & more efficiently, compared to my untidy and unruly way of doing things. I’ve always had an untidy little mind. Flit flit flit …
SO!! Here are my tried and true tactics, to combat the ‘perfects’. I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve come a long way 🙂
10 Ways to Stop Trying to be Perfect
I’m going to premise this by using a theatre analogy. I love the theatre. A few years ago I noticed that it was all becoming about production values, not about the story, the heart. It all became about helicopters on stage, amazing whoop-de-doo sets, revolving this and thats. Some of these have been amazing, but some of them have lacked ‘heart’. Put me in a small theatre anytime, with a band of marvellous actors and simple props/costumes and a basic set. Because it’s not about the gloss, it’s about the story. My point?
If your heart’s in it, you’ll be just fine. GO DO THAT THING!!!
- Just do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect. Start before you’re ready. There is no perfect time to start!
- Perfectionism causes procrastination, so start by giving yourself, say, a half hour time frame to start working on your project : at 1pm today I am spending 1/2 hour on my project. This way, you’re training your brain to take baby steps towards doing what you know you’ve been wanting to do ….when you’ve finished, make sure you set the next ‘date’ with your project.
- You will find a way, always, if you’re operating from your heart, to trust yourself to complete the project. And It doesn’t have to be perfect. Really feel into your heart. Do you really want to do this? Or are you been driven by external pressure?
- Stop thinking about yourself and how marvellous you want to be, start focusing on others, and what your ‘offerings’ will give to them. They don’t care about perfect.
- Stop trying to be all things to all people – delegate some jobs that you’ve allocated yourself over the years …at home, at work, volunteer work, hand them over, and free up some of your time. It doesn’t have to be forever …take a break! You don’t have to perfect at all of your roles at the same time. Give the good-deeder/perfect mother/perfect partner a little time out, while you do your thing.
- Think about the fact that most people are so focused about not being perfect, they don’t have time to worry if you’re not 🙂
- Ask yourself the following question: what would happen if this isn’t perfect? Realise that none of that matters. We’re all going to be dead in 100 years anyway, sad but true!
- Do whatever you want to do, imagining that no-one is ever going to see it/read it/experience it. It’s amazing how freeing this is.
- Enjoy the ride, and don’t get too attached to the outcome.
- And now for the most important one: THE UNIVERSE doesn’t give a hoot if you’re not perfect. It just wants you to LIVE!! Plug into it from time to time with whatever method you use. The way to do this is through SILENCE. Quiet walks, a meditation, go to a sacred space : a church, a beach … whatever works for you, and just BE. You’ll be amazed at how much strength, peace and belief in yourself that you get from this.
Do you know anyone who is perfect? If you do, please let me know so I can track them down, interview them and feature them on my next podcast. I’m sure we all want to know how to be perfect … must be fun eh? Er… no. I’d never interview them, because I think that a need to be perfect is one of the most constricting, suffocating, mind-numbing things that you could ever possibly want to have as a ‘quality’ in your life. I’m almost choking on my coffee writing this.
‘Perfect’ people aren’t present in my life, they’d show me up too much 🙂 All of my friends and family & colleagues are a motley crew, all perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Let me know where perfection in your life holds you back, I’d love to hear from you!
P.S.It doesn’t matter if you’re not perfect. Truly. Simple as that.
P.P.S I follow the ‘daggiest’ people online. They have bad videos, they have truly bad websites, and they’re not on every social media platform available to man. Do I love em? Abso-babso-lutely!
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Such an important message, thank you Julie. I know I will be re-reading this many times to remind myself!!
Thank you Hannah! 🙂 Glad it was helpful for you.
I know this perfectionism struggle well – one of the major themes of my life. Maturity does help! I know that many share in the vision of freedom from perfectionism and also with the journey towards that vision. What you said about “we’ll all be dead” (at some point) has come to me as well and been remarkably freeing in an odd sort of way. Thanks for a message that needs repeating often.
Thanks for your comments Judy!
Oh yes perfectionism, such a stopper of success, as Brene brown says “When perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is in the backseat.” great tips thanks
I’ll remember that Brene Brown quote! I just watched a video this week where she was giving a TEDX talk, she’s great isn’t she! Thanks for your comments Suzie, J
This was “perfect” timing! I am a Virgo, which makes me a perfectionist by nature and I always question everything. Thank you so much for this great insight, and the for the encouragement to just do it! And I love that the universe doesn’t give a hoot 🙂
Thanks Jenny! The Universe ‘gave’ me that hoot line. It was like, ‘hey don’t leave me out of the loop’! J x
Beautiful. You had me at “start before you’re ready”. I have a project that I’ve put off because I want it to be really really good. How haughty is that! Thanks for the nudge.
Looking forward to hearing about what the ‘nudge’ is going to produce!
My favorite part of this was: “Stop thinking about yourself and how marvellous you want to be, start focusing on others, and what your ‘offerings’ will give to them. They don’t care about perfect.” THANK YOU!
Hope it helps Angie!
Julie, this is a great post with many little nuggets of wisdom! My favorite is this, “Stop thinking about yourself and how marvelous you want to be, start
focusing on others, and what your ‘offerings’ will give to them. They
don’t care about perfect.”
Thanks Deanna! I’ve been guilty of that so many times, the old EGO at large!
Wow Julie! I loved this post — and really needed it right now! So many nuggets in here. You gave me something to think about, and work on. Thanks!! <3
Great reminder that perfect is boring, restrictive and destructive, it takes all the fun out of living. Getting so hooked up on not doing it right sometimes, I have found that getting close to right for myself and my clients takes practice. Wonderful energetic post.
Thanks Jen, loved seeing you on Lou’s Tea with Louise a while back. You have great energy! Thanks for the comment, J
Julie, you must have been writing this post for me! I so needed to read this as I’m wanting to launch a group health coaching program this Fall and can’t seem to get going because I want it to be “perfect”. Well no more perfectionism for me because I sure don’t want to be know as boring or restrict myself.
Delighted Linda! When I’m beavering away at my computer writing these posts, I hope a. that someone will read them 🙂 and b. that if they do, it will help in some way. Looking forward to seeing your coaching program out there! J x
Love this post and I have given up trying to be ‘perfect’ or even just started believing that I AM perfect in all my imperfections – “perfect” is subjective and dull 😉 As for doing work perfectly one of my fave sayings is done is better than perfect. I see so many waiting for the perfect website, perfect header, perfect this and that and they are not doing and being. Yesterday I wanted a sales page finished before my interview with Jenny Watson and I could not get my shopping cart to work! So I just stuck my email on and send email me if you want to sign up lol.
Lou! Fantastic comments. I’m shamelessly stealing you ‘done is better than perfect’. Just love it. Another one to stick up on my computer Jx