Breaking Up with Perfection

Whew  – it’s about to be August. Say what? Wait a minute . . . Did I say the same thing when the calendar flipped to spring? Just kidding, I know I did. Well, welcome to the mess that’s the summer of 2020. I’m slightly mystified, but also with the pace and emotions of the events of the year, it makes sense. June was a whirl-wind, and July is continuing at a dizzying pace.
I have a lot of plates spinning, a lot of priorities both personally and professionally, and so I’m leaning into my time management skills to make traction. At the same time, I’m finding myself doing a good amount of taking it slow and resting. It is summer, after all.
Yikes – pretty much everything I thought I’d be doing and focusing by this point in the year is a big NO. For 2020, this is the norm. I talk about this constantly with clients, friends, and my community. And like so many of my clients, I’m feeling some anxiety about the near and far future, and doing a bit of breath holding around the course of the pandemic. This is a common theme across sessions. What I know: Neither you nor I can control all that, but we can control taking a moment of reflection. And I strongly and highly recommend it. Here’s what I personally have learned in doing so:

Perfect is the destroyer of the good. Those strategy sessions I tested and sent you a note that I was launching? I launched them, and they are FIRE. In the past, I would have waited for the perfect time/marketing plan/sales page/etc – but the pandemic, and not being able to control anything, has helped me flex my ‘JUST GO’ muscle. So freeing! Also — and this is important!! — perfection doesn’t exist — it’s a lie and a myth designed to keep you playing small.

I can do hard things! All the ways I’ve put up blocks in my business — whether it’s feeling unable to write more frequently for my blog or for social media, or feeling too busy to create a virtual workshop, etc. — those blocks actually were just stories I was telling myself. I’ve gotten much more regular with writing, and am receiving nice feedback from you (thank you!). And all those years of really really REALLY not wanting to do video? Now, I’m having fun having live conversations both on social and in closed groups, and finding new ways of showing up and being of service for my community. It’s fun. Also freeing.

Rest is everything. Though time has lost some meaning, it is actually summer. We’ve been lucky to relocate just outside of the city for a couple of months, and though it’s not the vacation we’d planned, or even a vacation at all — it’s enough of a separation to feel restorative. Even just the longer walks with Betty the Dog in nature feel special.

Perfectionism is my personal kryptonite. It causes me to over-think, and make things way more complicated than they need to be. But perfectionism is b*llsh*t, and this is a lesson I learn again and again, and one I’m really taking to heart right now. My mid-year reflection and promise to myself is to really see how disempowering perfectionism can be, and to take imperfect action. Taking time to reflect on what I’ve actually been able to make happen, including simply thinking differently in these last couple of months, only underscores the value of booting perfectionism to the curb.

I highly recommend taking a moment to reflect on the last few months. Even if what you find is not what you had planned, as was certainly true for me, I bet you’ll find more learning and growth than you realize. Looking forward to hearing what you learn – let me know! 

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