This one is for the perfectionists (and recovering perfectionists) out there. It’s a call to action for anyone who’s let their obsession with doing things flawlessly and fears of what others might think stand in their way. It’s a reminder for anyone who thinks that they’re not yet “ready” to pursue their dream (or even take the first step towards it).
I get it. I know how the power of perfectionism firsthand — and how it can stand in the way of us getting what we truly desire. I’ve been there, and I hear about it from clients and friends all the time. There’s something that you want to do — know you must do because it is alive inside of you waiting to be born into the world — and yet, you just can’t pull the trigger. Not yet. And if your inner perfectionist stays behind the wheel, not ever.
I once worked with a client who had an entire campaign fully prepped for a cause that felt extremely close to her heart. She’d designed the email templates, drafted the copy, recorded videos — the works. Outwardly, she was ready to launch. Inwardly, she was beyond nervous. She worried about what her colleagues, friends, and family might think once she actually released her content into the world. Would they judge her? Would they think it’s silly or irrelevant or random for her to invest this time in something unrelated to her career? I can relate. It’s not easy to put ourselves out there, especially when something feels so close to us — so raw and vulnerable.
And, guess what? When these kind of thoughts arise, your inner perfectionist IS trying to support you — in its own way. This voice is an extension of your ego, which likes to be liked — and also prefers the known territory, the status quo. Your perfectionist thoughts try and do everything in their power to keep things the way they are and not rock the boat. Which is fine…if you’re okay with things staying the way that they are. But if you want to live bigger, bolder, and experience the richness that life has to offer outside of your comfort zone, you’re gonna have to let another part of yourself drive your decision-making wheel.
So, how did I work through that former situation with my client? Well, we took all of the energy that was going into her ego-based perfectionist thoughts, and redirected it into her WHY. Why was releasing this content so valuable to the world? Who might it help? How might this campaign allow her to be of service? And then, once we identified all of that, it really came down to CHOICE. Asking questions like...
- Am I willing to acknowledge my own fears, and then put them aside for the sake of everyone’s highest good?
- Am I willing to let myself be fully seen?
- Am I willing to let myself take in the extra goodness, should this decision garner positive feedback and attention? (This is a tricky one — a post for another day — but you’d be amazed at the ways we self-sabotage out of fear of our own success!)
- Am I willing to risk being exposed to criticism, knowing that I have an opportunity to be of service to a wider audience?
Because, let’s think about this for a minute: even ONE reader/listener/viewer is a bigger audience than if your ideas were to live on forever in your own mind or journal or whatever. Helping one person is profound.
This is something I’ve worked through myself. Something that, I’ll be honest, still comes up for me at times. Writing this post is the perfect example. I enjoy writing and love sharing wisdom I’ve gained over the years with others, especially close friends and family. And yet, up until now, I haven’t shared much of what I write publicly. I realized this is actually a way that I’ve been playing small and letting my inner perfectionist run the show. I was waiting until my writing was "perfect" and allowing that to hold me back from sharing posts more widely.
Today, that changes. Today I am willing to walk the talk and play bigger, and I’m committed to doing so on a regular basis. Why? Because I have a big ole heartfelt WHY that’s driving me forward. I vividly remember that soul-sucking feeling of being in a career and relationship that were not aligned at all, and so not for me. I felt lost, stressed, stuck, unfulfilled, drained, anxious, sad, alone, and overwhelmed. Amidst all of that, a bit of hope remained. I knew there was more out there for me — that there was something I could offer the world, that the deep love and intimacy I longed for was available somewhere, somehow.
I’m so grateful for the mentors, teachers, life coaches, authors and speakers who inspired me and pulled me out of this rut and into a life that is beyond what I previously knew was available for me. I feel it is my mission as a Life and Career Coach to do the same for others. If I can offer just one word of encouragement, one dose of support or inspiration or just awareness that you’re not alone in how you feel…well, that feels pretty remarkable to me.
Here’s to making the courageous choice — to putting yourself out there and letting your why take the lead. The world needs your voice, your purpose, your unique gifts. And with that, I present the first of many posts to come.
P.S. Maybe you’re struggling to identify your "why." Maybe you know exactly what it is but have no idea how to build a life around it. Or maybe you feel trapped by your own perfectionist tendencies. If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you — and I’m here for you.