I used to believe I was a chronic procrastinator. No matter the task, I always found myself waiting until the last minute to finish it. I always met deadlines, but I never got ahead. I’ve realized over the years that my procrastination is actually something deeper. I’ve realized I strive for perfection and fear failure. The irony is, when I left things to the last minute, they certainly did not turn out perfect! Today I’m talking about how I’ve stopped chasing perfection, let go of my fear of failure, and how these changes have contributed positively to my work, mindset, and life!
In this post, I mentioned that one of my goal’s for 2019 is “done over perfect.” I try to focus on this goal every day. For example, I’ll use this blog. When I started blogging, I didn’t know how to build a website and I had never done a photo shoot (besides senior photos in high school and the obligatory Christmas card or two). I didn’t know a single thing about editing photos or growing an Instagram. However, I SO BADLY wanted to blog that after YEARS of deliberating, I finally dove in.
I can’t say that it was pretty, but I can say I made progress. Very Slowly. I researched my head off. I read any and all blog posts and constantly listened to podcasts about blogging. When I did create content, I analyzed every word I wrote and harped on every detail of every post. It got to be excruciating, unproductive, and exhausting. It wasn’t fun, it was a chore.
Going through this blogging journey has helped me realize that not just in my blog, but in life, I am SO WORRIED about embarrassing myself with less than perfect work. I don’t mean that I think my work, life, or blog is perfect-I know it’s far from it. However, I was at the point where every post/photo/project/email. wasn’t good enough to put out in the Universe. This negative thought process really stunted my growth and progress in my blog, and I know it has in the past (I just didn’t realize it).
This wasn’t an AHA moment, it was more of a collection of small moments that made me realize I need to make a change. I was STRESSED! Being scared of failure and not thinking my work is good enough, or what I have to say matters enough, really starts to take a toll mentally and emotionally. I knew I had to make a change. I believe the following shifts have helped me truly move forward and let go of my unrealistic expectation of “perfect.”
- I move on once a project is done. No more editing, tweaking or delaying the post or project after declaring it the best I could do in that moment.
- Action before consumption: creating my own content before consuming other’s. This has helped me avoid the comparison game and focus on my own blog and business. Thanks to Jenna Kutcher for this tidbit!
- Reading: I’ve stuck to my goal of reading a little before bed. I’ve been reading different motivational books. Reading other’s stories have helped me feel better about the phase of life/business I’m in.
- Positive Self-Talk: seriously, this helps. Negative words translate in to negative outcomes.
If you find yourself in a similar mindset of chasing perfection (and worrying about failure), I encourage you to try the above strategies! With these small yet powerful adjustments, I have definitely felt less stress and pressure in my life to perform to the undefined expectation of perfect. I hope that in implementing these strategies you see the shift in your mindset that helps you feel confident in your work, decisions, and life in general.