Up until a few years ago, I never identified as a Perfectionist. As a matter of fact, had you asked me whether or not I was a Perfectionist, I would’ve likely replied with something along the lines of, “A perfectionist? God, no. Do you even know what my life is like? Maybe, if I was a Perfectionist, it wouldn’t be the disaster it is right now!” and then, depending on where in my cycle I was, I’d either laugh or cry.
Somewhere along my life, I came to understand that a Perfectionist was, indeed, Perfect or at least pretty damn close to it. In my mind, Perfectionists had good jobs, good relationships, good health, and so on because they were actively striving to be Perfect. This is, apparently, the image that society puts out about Perfectionism and I fell for it. Until, I learned about the other side of Perfectionism.
I learned that while there are certainly many high-achieving Perfectionists in the world, there are many, (possibly many more) Perfectionists who are nowhere near high-achieving. Some are very much non-achieving, as a matter of fact. I was confused, horrified, and intrigued by this underbelly of Perfectionism. I imagined these people to be sort of the Black Sheep of Perfectionists everywhere. So I dove in and read up on it some more. That’s when I realized, “Holy sugar, I’m a Perfectionist!”.
Now, this was a few years ago and it actually became a really popular topic of conversation and is now a regular component of self-help worlds. So, there’s a good chance that this is not news to you. But, if it is here’s the super short summary: Some people are Perfectionists. They want things to be perfect- their work, their appearance, their relationships, their whole life; but, they are so afraid of failing to achieve the level of perfection they want, they either do nothing or the bare minimum needed to survive/receive approval.
Now, I knew the first step to solving a problem was being aware there was a problem. This just wasn’t the type of problem I expected to encounter. But, it made a lot of sense. I was very much a Procrastinating Perfectionist and I didn’t like what it was doing to me.
Changing myself is hard. It’s a constant process and it’s one I have to be intentional about lest I get swept up with whatever change is trending at the moment. That is a thing, isn’t it?
When I started my business, Perfectionism clamored for a seat at the table. I wanted the website, the logo, the copy, the social media, the photographs, the booth, the products, the customers, everything to be perfect. After all, I thought, if it’s not perfect how on Earth will it be successful? Yes, I actually thought that. Yes, I still think that now and then. Because, Perfectionism still knocks on the board room door. She peers through the window while I’m making important decisions, or contemplating whether or not I should send another e-mail.
When I started the 100 Days of Blogging Challenge, Perfection got really excited. She thought surely I’d cave in to her. Maybe I would even listen to her and see that this was not a good idea because it’s so far from Perfect it’s laughable and I’d abandon the whole thing. Thankfully, at least where the blog is concerned, she’s still locked out.
However, let me tell you that there is one area Perfectionism almost always wins at. Could you guess? I mean, there are lots of areas of this business she squeezes herself into more than I’d like but there is one area that she really dominates and as such, I don’t work with as much as I could: E-mail Marketing.
Something about e-mail really trips me up. On the surface, I don’t understand why. E-mail marketing is just another way of talking to you guys. We already talk on social media and you might even be reading this blog! So, it’s confusing to me that when it’s time to open up Mailchimp and design an email to send out, I am suddenly very busy/forgetful/tired/etc.
Fun fact: When you send an email on MailChimp, this animated picture comes up of a monkey hand high-fiving you. I kid you not, I love that high-fiving monkey hand because sending an email campaign is the hardest and most unpleasant thing I have to do for my business. So I really feel I earn that high-five. But, it’s not so amazing that I need to go back and do it again any time soon. Now, I am imagining all of you checking your inbox for the last email I sent you so that you can admire my hard work and commend me for a job well-done because you guys are that supportive.
What’s your biggest Perfectionism Pitfall?