Perfectionism used to be a big problem for me.
But I've learned that, instead of obsessing over the "whys" of my perfectionistic tendencies, I should instead focus on building momentum...imperfectly. Let me explain….⠀
When feeling really stuck, I used to try to figure out why. Why was I so stuck? Why was I too scared to do the thing that would get me unstuck? Why did I keep stalling and second guessing myself? What could I do to STOP all the paralysis and self-doubt?!? ⠀
Better habits? Affirmations and visualizations? Earlier mornings? A Bullet Journal? (Or the Full Focus, or Hobonichi, whatever the new one is. There's always a new journal or planner that comes with all kinds of exciting promises!)
But the answer wasn’t in finding the right planner or calendar, or online course. It wasn’t in the right book or guided meditation. Those can all be great tools, but they couldn't solve my core issue.
I was stuck because I was struggling with perfectionism. I thought I needed to be sure I was on the “right” track before I even got started. I felt like I had to do everything “right,” even the first time I tried.
Perfectionism is a Liar
I wasn’t allowing myself to take a significant step forward because I was waiting around for some kind of guarantee that my first step would be in the right direction. That it would be successful. That I wouldn't end up looking foolish. I needed to know, in advance, that if I tried anything, it would be "perfect." ⠀
But that kind of perfection doesn't exist.
And perfectionism tells you that "perfection" is not only possible--but that we must achieve and embody it in order to be good or worthy. This idea can quietly destroy us.
It's like some kind of passive aggressive poltergeist. We can’t see it—and it makes no logical sense—but it’s there and it can take over our dreams and goals and tear down everything we try to create.
Even scarier, perfectionism can do all this while pretending to be a good thing. We think, "hey, being excellent is great, so being perfect must be even better!" So, we decide that we need to aim for that kind of perfection. Even though it doesn't exist.
The worst thing about perfectionism is that it kills momentum.
Imagine you get inspired to try something new. So you get started. And because it's new, you've got to experiment--do lots of trial and error. And at first you really suck at it, right? Because that's what happens when you're learning something new.
First you're really bad at it. Then you're a little less bad. Then you're just ok. Then, hey, you're actually starting to get pretty good...
Perfectionism tells you that you have no right to go through this process of learning. That you're not allowed to suck really badly at first, then learn, and get better. It stops you at the green light. It withers your spirit. It kills your momentum.
Momentum is a wonderful thing!
The importance of momentum is totally underrated. You see all kinds of inspiring quotes and books about dreams, passion, and purpose, while momentum doesn’t get much love at all.
But momentum is essential to attaining your dreams, passion, and purpose. Without it we're stuck, like a truck in a deep, muddy ditch.
And unlike perfection, momentum does exist! We create it ourselves by taking action. Often that action will be scary and messy and we'll end up feeling a little foolish. Sometimes we'll set off in the wrong direction and have to adjust our course, mid-step. Sometimes we'll fall. Often, it will feel like we have failed. But it's all part of the process. We're just learning what works and what doesn’t work.
Sure, there will be typos and stumbles and really terrible first dates. But at least we're out there, trying. Doing and creating and living our lives, instead of sitting and stalling and agonizing about why we are so stuck.
So please go out there and take that beautifully imperfect first step!✪
My mission is to help each highly sensitive and empathic person wake up to their power, brilliance, and authentic path. Please get in touch if you have any questions, stories, or want to schedule a one-on-one session to explore your soul's purpose.
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