I didn't realize how much of a perfectionist I am until I was ready to launch my podcast. I was editing the interviews I had compiled getting ready for the grand launch of the podcast. Listening to the sound of my own voice as well as hearing my filler words, the ums, you knows, right, kind ofs I went into self judgement mode. My perfectionism told me to go back and re-edit the whole show, taking out all of the filler words. My perfectionism also told me to not even launch the podcast because it may fail.
Then I realized no freakin way. After putting in 2 months of hard work interviewing amazing people, editing each episode, recording the intros and outros of the podcast episodes, and learning all the technical aspects of podcasting, there was absolutely no way I was going to go back and re-edit let alone not launch at all.
I took some time to reflect and realized launching with imperfection must be the way to go because a perfect podcast does not exist and a perfect podcast host doesn't exist either.
How many of you out there can relate to perfectionism. I notice it in myself when I play sports as well. Scared to make mistakes only makes me commit more mistakes on the basketball court or softball field (yes, I play men's slow pitch softball and proud of it!). Perhaps your perfectionism comes out at work, or when you are studying, or even when you drop a piece of food and start beating yourself up.
Too many of us are so caught up in perfectionism that it paralyzes us from taking any sort of action and gets us away from self compassion.
Here are a few ways to battle perfectionism:
- Watch your negative self talk. If you make a mistake and start telling yourself you are an idiot, realize you can't hop into a DeLoreon and travel back in time to fix the mistake (this is a reference from the movie Back to the Future for the younger generation). Catch that negative self talk immediately and redirect to self compassionate self talk.
- Realize perfectionism is impossible. You will never be perfect! We can all strive to be better than we were yesterday, but a mantra I tell myself is that I am perfect in my imperfections at this very moment but always have room for growth.
- Practice failing. This one is difficult because we are taught at an early age not to fail, go the safe path, get good grades. When you are launching a business, a blog post, a podcast, or exploring other careers, we will fail. Take chances. Those chances may be smaller than the jump I took of quitting my job with no set plan, however any way you can put yourself out there and fail a little bit to learn something from the experience will get you one step away from perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a huge killer in taking action on our hopes and dreams. My hope is that you are able to have awareness around your perfectionism and break through the false idea that perfectionism is attainable.
How does perfectionism show up in your life and how do you combat it? Let us know in the comments below.