I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life.
For a long time, I thought that was a good thing. That it meant I had high standards and did good work, and while those things are true, I didn’t recognize that it was also killing my drive and oftentimes my creativity.
You know that famous saying “Done is better than perfect”? It’s true. Because putting something into the world today that’s “good enough” is much better than waiting 6 months to get to “perfect” (which of course, doesn’t exist. Especially for us perfectionists!)
Being a perfectionist also cuts into our ability to be truly grateful for what we’ve accomplished, where we are, and to live in the present moment. There’s so much I am grateful for, but taking the time on a daily or even weekly basis to really soak it in, often evades me.
If you’re like me, you probably have a lot to be grateful for and a lot of really cool accomplishments under your belt. Maybe even some that were on your dream list. Still, you somehow feel like you’re not quite there. Like something is missing.
I used to think that if I could just get to point X, I might finally feel fulfilled, accomplished, important. But I’ve passed several of my goals, some of them sooner than I anticipated, and still I feel myself reaching for more, with a seemingly insatiable thirst.
So, as this year begins to draw to a close, I’m planning my escape from that mindset. And although I consider this a resolution, I’m not waiting until the new year to implement it. I’m starting now. I’m changing my life, my view, my perspective now.
The perfectionist in me is all about getting to the next highest point of my life/career/relationships, but the more rational part of me knows that no matter what I accomplish, I’ll always strive for more. And that’s a good thing in balance—but if it’s the only way we look at things, it can be incredibly damaging.
So, if you’re like me, if you’re always reaching for the next big thing, without taking the time to really appreciate and bask in the incredible accomplishments you’ve already created for yourself, I ask you to join me in breaking that pattern. To get comfortable with saying “Yeah, that was cool.” Or “I did a great job” or even “I did the best I could.”
I ask you to get comfortable with allowing yourself to boast without feeling self-indulgent. And to take the time to enjoy the things in your past and present, just as much as the things you know are yet to come.
To start off, I want to hear one work or personal accomplishment you’re incredibly proud of. Preferably one that you don’t brag about nearly enough.
I’ll go first—in 2016 I spoke at an official SXSW panel. It had been a dream of mine for years, and having the opportunity to speak to so many amazing people, in such an “official” capacity, was mind blowing, and it still gives me goosebumps to think about it. I’m incredibly proud of that and when I found out I’d be speaking, I nearly lost my mind with excitement. These days, it’s all too easy to brush it off and go “yeah but, I haven’t done…. (fill in the blank.)” Which is exactly what I don’t want you or I to do anymore! So tell me, what’s something you’re incredibly proud of? It’s bragging time!