The focus shouldn’t be on avoiding mistakes, but actually on how to learn from them.
As a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, I’ve built immense pressure on myself to be the best I could be and strive to always to do the right thing. My work ethic reflected that, and I’ve put more pressure on myself than I needed.
It stemmed from my childhood where making mistakes was a big no-no. Whatever choice I made, it had to be the right one. If I did good, the next question was why didn’t I do great? Cue all the guilt, shame, and blame if I make the wrong choice. I felt the pressure to be “perfect” in order to win the grand prize of recognition and acknowledgment from those I “needed” that from.
However, perfection takes more time to achieve (if that’s even possible). Perfection carries more pressure (this is self imposed, too). Perfection keeps making me feel not enough. Perfection also held me back as well.
So I’m embracing this new philosophy of “imperfect action is better than inaction.” (Crediting this shift to Amy Porterfield)
Here’s an example from when I made my first-ever Instagram reel. It took me a whole 2 hrs to post this little 90-sec reel. 😳 I learned A LOT of things and screwed up so many times that my phone ran out of available memory. (At first, I didn’t understand why it kept stopping the recording.) I made so many goofy faces at myself in the process to keep it light and fun. This experience was a series of taking tons of imperfect actions while knowing I WILL get better over time.
This was a big step for me as I’ve avoided being on video for the longest time. I posted my first Instagram photo on Jan 21, 2011 of a latte. Then it took me more than 6 years later before I showed my face for the first time on May 19, 2017. And here’s to celebrating a new milestone of releasing a video of myself on May 25, 2022.
What if we redefined what perfection is? What if perfection is just getting the task done in the best way we could at that moment in time? It’s accepting that making changes is just a part of the process. It lessens the pressure and burden of getting it done perfectly the first time.
Sometimes we just need the pressure of I-just-need-to-get-this-done-NOW!! That hard stop deadline means: no more tweaking, no more being super critical about the smallest thing ever, and no more letting all sorts of judgment hold you back from just… getting… it... done!
Oh, trust me. I still have pretty high standards for how I want to show up, especially for my brand (thanks to my graphic design background). That makes my perfectionism even more dangerous.
Hi, I’m Kat and I’m still a work in progress. My strengths can become my weaknesses when I don’t know how to stop.
So here’s an excerpt of my blog post “Redefining perfection” where I dived deeper into how I am rethinking the way I see perfectionism.
PERFECTION IS JUST AN EXCUSE
Perfection turns into waiting. Perfection becomes the excuse not to put yourself out there. It is an elusive state as things never stay “perfect”. That state of perfection lasts for a split second because, in the next moment, you’ll find that one little thing to make it better. Your definition of perfection might not even be what is wanted nor appreciated. You could be doing all this extra work without the equivalent return on investment. So why do we constantly chase perfection? Because we’ve been told as kids to not make mistakes or do anything wrong. Making mistakes have turned into something to be avoided at all cost. You’re doing it to make a certain impression and prove ourselves to others versus focusing on the value and impact you can make through sharing what you’ve created.
LET'S EMBRACE MAKING MISTAKES
It’s time to change that. The focus shouldn’t be on avoiding mistakes, but actually on how to learn from them. Mistakes are just learning opportunities. What could we do differently next time to make it better? It’s better to take imperfect action rather than inaction.
Read the full post to learn more about how to transform mistakes into a more empowering mindset.
Join me in taking more imperfect actions towards our goals.
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