As a coach, I observe a lot. Not just clients, but I listen to the language of our culture. I watch what people do and think about why. I am constantly reflecting and trying to improve, discover, uncover, and grow. It’s what I like about being a coach. Human inner workings are amazingly fascinating.
But I keep noticing places where I trip up. I love personal growth. And yet, perfectionism seems to be rearing its ugly head more and more lately. It is because I am getting older? Or now have a little person watching me all the time? Or because I keep showing up more in public? Probably all of those.
I wrote a book in the past year and it has taken a long time to get it out to the public. I hemmed and hawed and edited and begged people to read/proof it. I reread it more times than I want to admit to see if I changed my mind, to see if the words were timeless and mostly to see if I was making a complete ass of myself.
I had a few loving friends push me to publish. I got a bit bristly (“When I am good and ready, I will publish!”). I still had to make it PERFECT. Last week though, when I was reluctantly looking at the manuscript AGAIN, I just kept following all the steps to publish it on Amazon. And at 8:30p on a weeknight, with no fanfare, I pushed “Publish.”
Then I went to bed.
The next day I had the thought that I should share that I published it (not share the link and plug my book, just share the event) finally. And somehow I just started sharing the link. Friends and acquaintances were excited, proud, and even bought the book. But I was like, “It’s not perfect. I just shared a link to something imperfect. Ugh.”
Well, quickly I got two reviews and those reviews solidified that my intention of writing the book and then sharing it was good and true. I wasn’t selling perfection, I was selling intention and authentic expression. I got caught up in what I thought people wanted to hear from me. I ALWAYS forget that I make no promise of perfection when people meet me. In fact, my “brand” is all about just being who I am. So why would my book writing/publishing be any different?
I have an outdated idea that I can’t be taken seriously if I make mistakes. I try to coach others away from that. So I have to start with me.
Where has perfectionism kept you from doing your Big Work? What would it take to push through?
Check out the book. See for yourself. Perfection is overrated.