Being a self-proclaimed perfectionist has been a burden upon my soul. Small tasks becomes a major event, simple plans turn into a fastidious process. My obsession with perfectionism has held me back from many accomplishments. Often times I end up putting off for tomorrow what can be accomplished today because I have to make sure it's perfect, to ensure that I crossed all my t's and dotted all my i's. This brings me back to Research Seminar in graduate school. I spent an arduous amount of time writing and rewriting a research paper. My obsession over perfectionism was costing me so much time until finally I decided to be satisfied with good enough. I knew my research paper was well written, I presented a thorough review of research on my chosen topic and, I completed all the necessary requirements.
Yet, when it came time to present my work I was tormented with so much anxiety. I was so focused on the shortcomings of my work, ways in which I could have made it better, and whether I actually thoroughly represented the research on the chosen topic. Most importantly, I didn't want to look a hot mess in front of my professor and classmates. As I begun my presentation all anxieties subsided. My 25-minute presentation went by so quickly. At the end of class I received feedback from my peers. To my surprise I received an overwhelmingly positive response. Many of my peers commended me for my ability to present and the thoroughness of my research. I passed the class with an A, the anxieties were over.
It was similar anxieties over perfectionism that has caused me to prolong the start of this blog. I had all these ideas but, I didn't know where to start or what to do. I felt I needed to have everything together before I started. I wasn't ready to start until I knew everything would be perfect. Why? Because I was afraid of potential failure. If I failed it wouldn't be a private failure it would be a public failure. In this I have realized my obsession with perfectionism boiled down to fear of allowing myself to fail and the fear of vulnerability.
Realizing that pondering about how to start a blog was getting me nowhere, I decided to jump in there and launch my site. Finally, I became willing to experience failure in order to learn. I had to become comfortable with lending myself to vulnerability. The moment I decided to let go of perfectionism and start a blog I realized there was an abundance of opportunities available for me to learn and grow as a blogger. Had I been waiting for everything to be perfect, I would not have known such opportunities existed. This gave me the courage I needed to get over my fears. I have been learning so much now.
Lessons I Have Learned After I Decided To Let Go Of Perfectionism
You don’t need to have all the answers. You grow from doing not thinking. You can’t be afraid to make a step towards pursuing your goals or dreams. Even if you’re unsure if it’s a step in the right direction. Taking the wrong step will help you to gain the the wisdom you need make better choices. Taking the right step will help you to advance towards your dreams.
To embrace failure. Failure occurs in our lives to shed light on areas where we need to strengthen, improve or grow. If it wasn't for moments of failure we’d be oblivious to our of weaknesses. Failure shows us what we need to do.
It's ok to be vulnerable. Perfectionism distances you from people. People honor authenticity and transparency in your character not perfectionism. Being vulnerable makes you relatable. Vulnerability is a sign of strength.
What dreams or goals is perfectionism holding you back from?
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