Does wanting to be perfect hold you back from doing the things you want to do?
It has for me. I never considered myself a “perfectionist”. I thought being a perfectionist meant you were extremely type A, organized to a fault, and driven to the point of obsession. I’m definitely not Type A, I can be disorganized and lazy, and I’m driven, but sometimes I let fear take the wheel and keep me from going after my goals.
But when I started to think about it, I actually am a perfectionist in some ways. I always wanted to be in the top academic classes in school (which I was), I try to excel at everything I do even if I’m not trying to be “the best”, and I have been known to try and portray the image that I have it all together. But my inner perfectionist really comes out when it comes to starting something new. My fear of not being good enough at it, and frustration at the thought of not mastering a new skill right away has actually kept me from following my heart and doing something new.
3 years ago I wanted to become a photographer. But the thought of having to learn a completely new skill and art, learning how to work a camera, setting up a shoot, editing, was intimidating to me. Not to mention the fear that I might not be any good at it and constantly comparing myself to other photographers I admired.
It took me a year to admit that I wanted to pivot in my career and learn a new skill. And once I got clarity and could admit what I wanted, I decided to take action. I signed up for a workshop to learn photography and just see what happened.
It wasn’t easy. I struggled with learning how to use my new camera. I took photos that weren’t great and didn’t inspire me. But I kept practicing. I became obsessed with learning everything I could about my new art. And I asked for help from mentors. I got better with every shoot and started to feel more and more confident.
It took me a year to build up a portfolio I felt good about, and to feel confident about telling people I was a photographer. Now when I look back, I wonder what took me so long. The fear of not being “perfect” at my art kept me from learning a new skill that I love, and adding a side to my business that brings me so much joy. I’m by no means perfect in my art, but when I look at how far I’ve come in just a year, I feel proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished. I’m excited to grow as an artist and an entrepreneur, and see where my creative business takes me. And I’m grateful that I stopped letting my fear of not being perfect hold me back from doing something I love.
Where in your life is your fear of being perfect holding you back from trying something new? What steps can you take today to stop letting that fear hold you back? Leave me a comment below.
If you're ready to stop letting your fears hold you back and you want to explore how coaching can help you get clarity around what you want and leave these fears behind, then click HERE to set up a complimentary discovery call with me. Don't let perfectionism keep you from living your dreams!