The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy wasn’t supposed to be leaning.
And if it wasn’t leaning, it would merely be The Tower Of Pisa, and it probably wouldn’t be such a popular tourist attraction.
I’m a recovering perfectionist, which is why I know a thing or two about this topic.
I mean, I love producing beautiful videos, creating awesome online courses, serving my international sisterhood.
… and, frankly, I love doing things really well. …but I’m critical of what I produce at every single step of the process.
Whether it’s a new video or a new online course or a live stream.
The problem with this is that if I let it overcome me, it could stop the process in mid-flow… delay production, tie me up in knots…and what it’s lead to in the past was burning me out.
Perfectionism was creating friction inside that was slowing things down and stopping this massive creative flow inside me.
Perfectionism was burning me out.
But, what if I LOVE doing things well?
Now, I’ve been fascinated by excellence my whole life.
When Tom Peters wrote his book “In Search of Excellence,” I ate it up and wrote a book report on it as a young design student.
But perfect isn’t even a real thing!
There’s no such thing as perfect.
Perfect in your mind may not be perfect in another’s, and imperfect to you may hit the spot just right for one of your readers or listeners.
While having high standards is a great thing as an entrepreneur, having impossible ones could be the difference between success and, well, anonymity.
And what if these impossible standards are really just the things that you’re hiding behind?
“This is life, and imperfection is beautiful, and don’t be afraid of that.” ~ Dylan O’Brien
As It Turns Out
Studies have shown that perfectionism is closely related to shame. It’s like we’re trying to hide something behind our desire to be perfect.
“Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, shame, or judgment. It’s a shield.” ~ says Brene Brown in her book The Gifts Of Imperfection.
And perfectionism isn’t the same as healthy striving and growth or a desire for excellence or to be a good person or to be your unique kind of beautiful.
Desiring the output of your creative process, or the way you look or how you behave to be good or even great is excellent and healthy.
In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown interviewed transformative leaders and CEOs, and one of them was quoted as saying:
“Perfectionism is my greatest enemy; It’s really seductive; I’d love to be perfect, but perfectionism stands in the way of me being able to be a transformative leader.”
As women, we’re also flooded with images of photoshop touched up supermodels who, for some reason, become our benchmark for beauty, for what’s sexy or feminine.
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Dr. Steve Maraboli
Here’s a Tip
Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”
Healthy striving is inner-focused: “How can I improve?”
For so many transformative leaders that I know their gifts and ability to serve have come from their mistakes. Their biggest blunders and most painful losses were why they can give so much to other people.
“Perfect is the energy of good” ~ Voltaire.
So here I stand, with two imperfect websites, 180 videos on Youtube, each and everyone that I could improve, 4 online courses that I could have added or omitted content. I have a breakout on my chin, and I’m carrying more weight on my belly than I’d like.
But today I woke up, I created, I took imperfect care of myself and imperfect action in my business…then I let go and moved on.
And I’m much happier and have a thriving business full of amazing women and an international community approaching 50,000 women.
How about we together decide to drop the idea of perfect and instead adopt the rawness of our human imperfection. There’s such beauty in that, in our raw creative power, in our unique asymmetry and in our desire to serve others and lead them to live their authentic life.
“There’s a kind of beauty in imperfection” ~ Conrad Hall.