I’ll admit it. I’m a perfectionist. I have been since I was a kid. If I didn’t get straight A’s, or 100% on everything, I was a failure.
Honestly, I don’t know where I got that idea from. My mom was ultimately supportive no matter what. I hardly was in trouble as a kid. I was definitely a people-pleaser. Once when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old, my brothers caught me riding my bike in the street on the next block over from our house, something that we were not allowed to do. They had the look of “YES! We caught her!” on their faces, and raced home to tell on me. Not to be outdone, I raced them back (in the street, of course – so much easier!), beat them into the house, and tattled on myself. If I was going to get in trouble, it was going to be at my own hand. I needed to be “perfect,” even in the face of consequences.
Now that I’m well into my adult years, I’d hope that I have a better handle on that pesky need to have everything perfect. Eh, not so much!
In 2009, I decided I wanted to launch my virtual assistant business. I did the research, the studying, I read everything and took every single webinar I could sign up for.
I launched in 2014.
My website wasn’t perfect…
I didn’t exactly know how to offer my services…
My contract wasn’t ready…
Things weren’t perfect.
So I waited. I sat around, feeling sorry for myself, wondering and hoping and waiting.
There are two kinds of perfectionists: Those who work harder and harder and harder until everything is done just right and perfect, and those who immediately stop and freeze up when things are not done just right and perfect.
I’m the latter. That’s my M.O. – I don’t do it unless it’s perfect. I become nonexistent. I stop trying. I get scared and clam up and hide away because OH NO, what would people think if I tried and failed? Or if I tried and it didn’t come out JUST RIGHT?
This running scared act has become exhausting.
Not being true to myself, not achieving all that I’ve set out to accomplish, this feeling of trying to keep up with where I think OTHER people think I should be…
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I know there are so many of us who struggle to grasp on to our true purpose that we feel deep in our souls. And when we can’t figure it out JUST RIGHT, we can’t plan every single detail to PERFECTION…then we just stop trying. We put it away. Tuck it into the deep caverns of our hearts and of our souls and we do nothing.
THAT, my friends, is a recipe for disaster.
And with the ever-present and observing eyes of my children around? They are learning to repeat this behavior. I need to break free now so they realize that they can live in the LIGHT instead of hiding away in the dark.
There will always be bumps and bruises and hurdles and roadblocks. That’s part of life. It’s part of LIVING. So why are we so afraid to live fully and try and go for our big, crazy dreams? Why does it have to be perfect before we try?
So here is what we need to do. I’m calling myself out on this one, too! We need to stop waiting for things to be perfect. We need to do something… ANYTHING… just one thing…and release it. Allow it to exist, beautifully imperfect.
What does that look like for you?
Maybe you throw up a one page website so you have that online presence that you know you need to have. You don’t have professional photos yet and your copy can use some work… but you throw it up anyway.
Maybe you piece together a package for your services and you publish it on your site and share it with your online friends. You really aren’t sure that anybody would be interested and you feel scared to attach a monetary amount… but you publish it anyway.
Maybe you have been wanting to write a blog post, or maybe you have wanted to send out an email to your super small mailing list. OR maybe you have a list that has grown but you suddenly feel so out of touch and don’t know what to say to them… today is your day. Say it anyway.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to reach out to people to let them know you are in business. Maybe it’s a few friends you think would be interested, or a Facebook group, or someone at the grocery store. You aren’t sure what to say, and what if you make a fool of yourself… speak up, lady. Speak anyway.
Let go of your need to have everything perfect. Stop holding yourself back from being and achieving everything you were MADE for. Today is your day!
Jenny VanBuskirk is the owner of Creatively Virtual, a virtual assistance company that provides marketing, customer service, content creation, and launch support to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Jenny is also the founder of Biz Mamas, a group of women who are rocking business + motherhood with confidence! More importantly, Jenny is a wife and mother of four amazing kids who inspire her to love deep and dream big.