Writing newsletters is something I think I need to be perfect at. Because of this desire for perfection I get caught up, pulled back, and held down in my own muck and mire of wanting to shine. I often wonder why I suffer from this perfection complex when I get wonderful feedback from unexpected people saying how much they love my newsletters and appreciate what I share. But, like millions of others, I am plagued with the perfection complex and the positive feedback never seems to be quite enough to cure that.

I know where my need to be perfect comes from and although I have done my family of origin work, my issue of needing to get things just right and to always do things perfectly still lingers with me. At times this can be helpful as it pushes me to do a better job when perfection is a priority, but more often that not, having to be perfect blocks my creative flow and hinders me from sharing information with you that might be beneficial.

Perfection can stop us from getting started on things because we think that what we want to accomplish needs to be a perfect end result, before we’ve even begun the first step! We spin ourselves out of control, avoid our project like the plague, get paralyzed, and then stop pursuing whatever is was that was so important because we convince ourselves that if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth it. Then we become stressed, anxious and maybe even depressed because we are stagnant in our work. Not moving towards what we want produces a constriction that leads to mental paralysis and overwhelming procrastination.

What if there were another way? What if things didn’t need to be perfect? What if the idea of “perfect” didn’t haunt you when your creative juices get flowing? What if you could get your mindset to believe that doing anything towards your getting your project started or finished would be better than doing nothing at all? And, what if you could imagine that perfection doesn’t really exist?

Well, perfection does not exist. Period. How can it? Who would have the ultimate say that something is perfect? Perfection is a figment of all of our imaginations, and it is different in each of our minds. It is a curious thing when you consider it, because how can so many of us be caught up in the concept of perfection when there really is no such thing? It’s easy. I believe that our hard-wired instinct to always remain safe creates our fear. If we don’t do or avoid something that may take us out of our comfort zone, we can remain safe and avoid the risk of imperfection. But we are dynamic people and our true potential is waiting for us through the wall of fear. Once we decide to dive into something head first with no perfection expectations, we can surprise even ourselves with talent.

The problem with staying safe is that we have limited or slow personal growth. We are afraid of being imperfect, but most of all we are afraid of others thinking of us as imperfect. Living life to the fullest requires us to risk imperfection. If you decide to take the first step and push past those fears of “perfection” and stop procrastinating on that project you know you could nail if you could just get started, life will reward you beautifully.

Take a moment and picture what your life could be like if you weren’t held up by your need to be perfect. How might you be living your life to the fullest? Just imagine all that you could do and be…

I know this newsletter isn’t perfect, and that’s okay. I’m proud of it because I felt focused and positive when I was writing it, I’m happy to have shared my concept of perfection with you, and I enjoyed pushing past my mental block to create something that I hope will help you in some way, whether it’s big or small.

Cheers to never being perfect and to always being proud!


20 Tips for Overcoming Perfection

1. Take a deep breath and bring yourself to the present moment.

2. Take as many breaths as you need until you can really get to the present moment (you aren’t going to get anywhere being outside yourself)!

3. Bring to mind what you want to do, create, or achieve and simply start by writing it down.

4. Start a vision board for your project, or create a virtual one on Pinterest.

5. Use all your senses to create in your mind and body what it is like to be doing this thing, e.g. see yourself and get a sense of yourself actually doing it; what do you hear? Notice if there are any associated smells or tastes.

6. What resources do you need? Make time to gather them.

7. Block out uninterrupted time to start your project.

8. Block out additional time to finish your project.

9. Do your BEST on the project and have FUN.

10. Start small. For example, do you love to draw but think you’re a bad artist? Set aside time to draw just for yourself.

11. Start on a small project that’s just for you. This will help you start projects that involve work, other people or have more riding on them.

12. When evaluating your work, start with the positive aspects, then comment on what could be improved upon.

13. Look for what is right, what is working, and what is good about your project.

14. Practice acceptance and non-judgment.

15. Make adjustments and corrections as you go.

16. Keep breathing and stay in the present moment.

17. Stay focused on your creation (not on perfection)!

18. Take breaks if you start to feel frustrated or don’t feel as if you’re progressing. Make sure you go back to finish.

19. Compliment yourself on what you have achieved.

20. Celebrate your projects and tell others about what you’ve achieved. Be proud of your work, it will show.

Eilise Ward