This is the first post in a series about perfectionism, something that worms its way into so many areas of my life. As I explore it and start changing and loosening perfectionism’s hold on me, I will share the process here.
I started this blog a few months ago to share my journey, evolving out loud as my coach says. I had planned on posting about once a week, and made it about once a month for a while. The last post was in October. Hmmm. I had a lot of fun finding just the right music or video to embed, just the right picture to convey what was going on for me. For the last post, I noticed almost a desperation to “get it right” (that is how perfectionism manifests for me, not in a clean and organized house –that would be kind of nice – rather in the compulsion to “do it right”). So I was a bit stressed out, knowing I wanted to get the post out there, and not being able to find the “right” version of a song to embed. The fun was being leached away, so that stopped me from experiencing the excitement and energy of sharing my inner self with you – perfectionism does that.
So today I am embedding no song, posting no picture, linking to nothing. I’m not even having my husband (the writer and composition teacher) read it and edit it for me. Holy shit! It’s kind of freaking me out. I have had in my mind that simply writing wasn’t interesting enough (even though some of my favorite blogs have posts that are simply writing), that my writing needed to be flawless. I also have believed that I needed to be a curator of visual media that would pull people in, and make it fun and interesting for them. And I still will do some of that, it is fun, and some people do like it and find it interesting. AND when it stops me from posting, from sharing, from communicating and connecting, then something’s got to shift.
Perfectionism has stopped my blogging in another way too. So much internal movement, shift and transformation have happened in the past month that I can barely keep up. I’ve stopped myself from writing here about it mostly because I was in the midst, still am, and felt like I needed to have the wisdom of being “on the other side” to post. It wouldn’t be “right” to share from the confusion and bewilderment that I was feeling. I’m a coach so I’m supposed to be past all of that. That stopped me too.
What am I in the midst of? Well, dealing with perfectionism, of course, and its subtle undermining of so many areas of my life. I never really thought of myself as a perfectionist because I embrace that life is messy. AND there are some areas, where I see myself as “performing” (school situations) or putting myself out there (blogging, social media, speaking) or when something really important is on the line (like parenting and coaching) that I tend to put enormous pressure on myself to “get it right.” What does that mean for me? It means a lot less risk taking, less experimentation, less failure, and less accomplishment. It also means that I tend to take on the responsibility for other people’s experiences, and that doesn’t serve me or them.
So, my new goal for this blog is for it to be imperfect, to be a true reflection of me and who I am in the moment I am writing. Some posts will appeal to some and not to others, and some may find a post like this boring, so be it.
Want to join me in exploring and shifting perfectionism in your life? Click here to contact me for a free 30-minute consultation, no strings, just talk.