I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with perfectionism. It can stop you from finishing so many things and reaching your goals, and it can sneak up on you even when you think you know what to watch out for.
In this post, I’m going to share my recent struggles and the plan I am making to deal the issue using goal setting tips.
On my desk sits a framed quote – “Done is Better Than Perfect.” The saying has been attributed to several people from Voltaire to Sheryl Sandberg. I could not definitively discover who originally said it, but what’s important is the message.
I printed the quote and put it on my desk so that I see it and think about it multiple times during the day, yet I still find myself falling into the trap of perfectionism.
Great article from ProBlogger: The Five Words You Need to Hear When You Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough
The Idea of Blogging Begins
A couple of months ago I started thinking about blogging. (Text only, of course, since my camera phone and I do not have the best of relationships.)
I thought that maybe relating the processes, struggles, and failure or success of reaching some of my goals would hit home with someone else out there.
Or if that didn’t happen, at least seeing something I had written being published on my own little website would be pretty cool.
I bought hosting and a domain name and started writing. I figured that since I had spent some money on this project, I would definitely figure out a way to make it work.
The next logical step for me was to start reading about blogging… and reading… and reading. Reading so much that I started to get overwhelmed with terms like SEO and meta-something and social media promotion.
I felt buried under dire warnings that nobody would read my blog unless I already had a massive social network in place and had become BFF’s with a thousand other bloggers. (Honestly, I’ve rarely posted on other blogs because it feels like I would be crashing someone else’s party. It usually seems like they all already know each other. But I’m working on that.)
I’ve always been in awe of bloggers for putting themselves “out there” and allowing the world to have a glimpse into their lives.
Having visited many blogs over the years, I see brave souls who have their lives together and write beautiful, humorous posts — often with tons of gorgeous photos they’ve taken depicting their Instagram-perfect food and Pinterest-perfect homes.
Before I really got started blogging — even though it was something I felt strongly about wanted to try — I began to doubt myself. My perfectionist side shouted, “Holy crap, seriously?! How could you ever hope to measure up to that?!”
I started to think maybe pushing that launch button was not going to happen. I didn’t love my logo, even though I had spent days working on it. Who wants to visit a blog with a logo that isn’t perfect? I didn’t have a specific one-topic focus for my blog — another apparent no-no in the blogosphere.
Eventually, I worked up the guts to press the button and go live, looking at that framed quote on my desk and reminding myself that “Done is Better Than Perfect.”
I had some post topics in mind and wrote about those things right away. Meanwhile, I was studying the art and business of blogging — watching webinars, attempting to learn social media, becoming frustrated by my inability to make Google Analytics work correctly… basically overwhelming myself by attempting to figure out things that I’m just not ready to tackle yet.
This week it got to the point where I started some posts, but couldn’t finish any of them.
I knew I wouldn’t have good enough photos.
My posts wouldn’t be original enough or narrowly focused enough or helpful enough or long enough.
My studies of blogging left me with the belief that nobody wants to hear your personal stuff — even though that’s why I fell in love with blogs in the first place.
Was I the only one who liked personal observations and those stories about daily life that helped me feel like I wasn’t alone in some of the things I might be going through at the time? (Apparently that only belongs on social media these days. Who knew?)
I had to do three things:
- Remember what I love to do, and what I want to do better.
What I Love to Do: Improve Stuff
Well, I suppose this is a no-brainer given the whole perfectionism issue. But how can I use that in my blogging efforts? Filling the Jars is about improving “stuff” – Family, Home, Money, Life – and helping others do the same.
At this moment in my life, I am feeling the need to focus on earning and saving money, so you will probably see more posts about that. I’m going to have to get past thinking that every possible idea has already been posted somewhere else at some point in the internet’s history and — everyone has obviously seen all of those ideas. (Because really, that’s what goes through my head.)
When spring rolls around again and the temperatures rise to a more reasonable level, I usually find myself ready to tackle DIY home projects. I’m definitely still planning to do the two projects from my Positivity post.
What I would really love to know is what YOU want to read about! Feel free to leave a comment.
What I Want to Do Better: Write
I realized that’s what it’s really all about for me.
The writing. Working through problems and solutions with words.
I’ve done a lot of writing since I began this blog (still doing the Get Up Early Challenge and the My 500 Words Challenge that I originally posted about here), but most of it sits in Google Docs, deemed not good enough to be seen by anyone other than myself.
There’s perfectionism, rearing its ugly head again! How will I ever get feedback on my writing style or subject matter if I never let anyone read it?
To get myself past that roadblock, I’m challenging myself to write a weekly post that contains excerpts from my early morning ramblings.
So my posts may not always have photos. They may not always be SEO-optimized or have that meta-whatever.
But I hope at some point along the way, I will write a post you love and remember because it resonated with you and inspired or helped you, not because it had a perfect photo.
And maybe, just maybe, I will finally learn to tame the beast of perfectionism.
Does anyone else out there struggle with perfectionism? What things have you managed to do in spite of the issue? Did it turn out okay in the end, or did it always bother you that it wasn’t “perfect” to you?