Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough.”  Julia Cameron

I recently read the above sentence and it resonated with me.  It reminded me of all the ideas, possibilities I have not started, not shared or shut-down before the glimpse was too real.  All because I know I am not perfect and could never do anything justice. So I always felt that if I didn’t start, I wouldn’t fail, be disappointed or worse open myself up to other people knowing I am a flawed.

How many doors have we refused to open or walk through because we felt we were not smart enough or skilled enough.  Or maybe, me for one, we have attempted something, but kept it close and not shared it feeling it was never “good enough”.   So we short change not only ourselves but the community by not taking a risk, embracing failure, learning from it and maybe creating something better. 

I am challenging myself and everyone to not wait for perfectionism – the fear we are not good enough.  Lets take risk,  open doors, become vulnerable. There is so much out there we are missing by holding back. What we have to offer is worth it.  Perfect – who wants that!! I want unique.  What we have to offer is enough – it is part of us and yes crictism hurts but it is better than living a life of regrets and “what ifs”.  I want to look in the mirror at the end of the day and say “yes I did that and I can take whatever life tosses at me because I am good enough the way I am and what I create/offer is uniquely me and that is enough.”

42 thoughts on “Perfectionism

  1. awandafulthing says:

    I love this post and the message it delivers. I too am not perfect but have always considered myself as different…now I’m going to start calling myself unique. I actually prefer imperfection but it took me a long time to figure out that was ok – please yourself because you matter most!!!

    Like

    • Amelia says:

      I agree it took me (still working on it) a long time to just put stuff out there. Just push through it as I think we regret more of what we don’t try than anything we actually do. Treat your 40s as your time to push through the fear and have an incredible chapter.

      Like

  2. Katie says:

    Feel exactly the same, that’s why I went out on a limb with my blog afraid of failure, but I’ve made it a week so far! Still nervous of failure!!

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    • Amelia says:

      Blogging for me has been extremely positive. It has made me put myself out there and that in turn has lead me to other ventures. Just be yourself. You are part of an amazing community.

      Like

  3. The Style of Laura Jane says:

    What an amazing piece of motivational writing. I am a self-confessed perfectionist and whilst it has been good in some aspects – it makes me always do things to the best of my ability, it has in other ways infested my life like a disease. It has stopped me making so many decisions. It took years for me to even start my blog.
    I have this tendency to use this excuse…”when I have this and that…then I will do it”.
    And like you said, I avoided taking risks so that I would never fail. But that mindset leaves you in the same place. This is another reminder for me to keep going for what I want and not letting perfectionism take hold. x

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    • Amelia says:

      I think Melissa Gilbert ?? said perfectionism was one of the killers of creativity as you don’t create if you can’t make it perfect. In all honesty what is ever perfect? It took me a long time to put stuff out there (this blog for one). I also had to consider if judged (on stuff not being perfect) that is was not a reflection of me just someone’s opinion. So if you have done your best let it go. No regrets.

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    • Amelia says:

      I think we have to change our mind set to “I’ve done my best” “I’ve enjoyed the process”. I think we are missing opportunities – plus society will be quick enough to judge us, we don’t have to do it. Go for it!!

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  4. SimpleSerenity says:

    I can totally relate to this, I’m so hard on myself all the time because if it’s not perfect it’s not good enough. Lately I have been trying to chill out and let myself make mistakes sometimes, take breaks and just slow down and I’m definitely feeling better. xx

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    • Amelia says:

      I have struggled with “not being good enough” my whole life. Mistakes are part of learning – finding out what you enjoy, want to pursue etc. a lot can be flipped into learning opportunities. That was fun but don’t need to do it again. Yes to chilling out and letting go of perceived ideas. It is often the journey not the end result we should focus on.

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  5. gemmaorton says:

    What a great quote, so true.
    I am slowly learning not to be a perfectionist but I am still put off from doing thing in case I cannot do them perfectly. Blogging has actually helped with this, as had reading blogs.
    Great motivation, thanks.

    Like

    • Amelia says:

      Blogging has helped me also as we so put ourselves out there. Plus it has helped keep me accountable and focused on other things. Just do it you have more regrets over things you don’t do than do. Not doing something perfectly is okay – more than okay. It is about the process and learning and/or enjoying that.

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  6. Oriana says:

    As someone who has to embrace failure right now because I was too afraid of not achieving something, I completely relate to this. I need to stop holding back too, thanks for this inspiring post ! 😊

    Like

    • Amelia says:

      Regrets – have always been major for me. I decided I wanted to try and eliminate what I could so that meant doing things,putting things out there whether or not they were not perfect. Break things down into baby steps maybe and achieve those to start with. Don’t get caught up in the end result. Enjoy the journey as that is all we have. Good luck and will be following you on your blog!!

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  7. Snuffy says:

    I read one by Elizabeth Gilbert that was something like, “You don’t have to be original, you have to be authentic.” and it had the same idea to me. We don’t have to strive to be better, new or perfect. We just need to be 100% ourselves and that is enough. Lovely post, Amelia.

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  8. Janet Givens says:

    Waiting until we’ll get it perfect is a kind of paralysis. I saw it in my students in Kazakhstan, where I taught English. So many refused to speak until they believed they get it “right.” Good thing toddlers don’t worry so, or they’d never learn to walk. Great topic, great post.

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    • You Can Always Start Now says:

      I often think of toddlers and language. Taking everything in for two years and processing it. Yes to perfectionism being a kind of paralysis. I can’t imagine not trying something new – one of my favoriate things to do. Perfectionism is never on the list – giving it a good shot is. Say hi to your mom!!

      Like

  9. ellenbest24 says:

    Being perfect or waiting to get something perfect never happens because my vision of perfect is miles away from your vision. We are each unique and our confidence is linked to what expectations we have .

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    • You Can Always Start Now says:

      Well said. I know people that won’t start or finish a project because it is not perfect. Makes me sad. My expectation now (majority of the time) is to do a good job. Give myself to a project, hopefully enjoy it and give it my all, but not wait for perfection.

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      • ellenbest24 says:

        I try to do it let it sit re-look at it tweak if necessary then let it go. If at third look I see huge mistakes I may leave it a week then let it go but on the whole I stick to the principle I set.

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      • ellenbest24 says:

        My first entry in to an international comp made the long list. The critique said I had over edited it and consequently lost the character, I had sanitized it. So perfect English is not what you need when there are accents and coloquialisms that separate and give it ambience.

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      • You Can Always Start Now says:

        agree. Like dialogue. We do not speak in perfect English. I was in an art class and the instructor told student to do more editing or detailing on painting. Basically she over did it and it was blah at the end compared to when the instructor first came over. We all knew it.

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  10. Candice says:

    I too struggle with perfectionism. I’m improving and am a lot better than I used to be. But those sneaky little thoughts, “You’re not good enough,” always come back. It’s not a linear process and I’m learning to accept and love myself so I can love others!

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  11. clairelomax2018 says:

    A wonderful post, I am so guilty of this. I am my own worst enemy.

    I won’t take the step to self hosting my blog because I am sure I don’t have the skill to succeed. I keep putting the gym off because I am so worried that my lack of perfection is going to make people mock me and thats just 2 examples.

    I have to remember this message.

    Thank you for sharing x

    Like

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