August 26, 2020

You're Good Enough—Combating Perfectionism


Posted by Sharmarke Hujale


3 min read

As creatives, we all have a perfectionist within us. For some of us, we suffer from it. Me included. We want to create the best of the best. We want to impress our boss, our colleagues, our community — even family members, maybe.

We become obsessed with it. Everything needs to sit clean and tight. No room for mistakes. Because if that happens — our world collapses.

You feel the frustration as you look back, and see that you didn’t make much progress even though you focus so much on the details.

But what are we doing wrong and what could we do to feel that we are moving in the right direction?

You’re not alone. I suffered big time to almost where it felt like a disease you couldn’t get rid of.

I paid too much unnecessary attention to details that didn’t matter. I did it anyway. Because I was afraid. Afraid to make mistakes. Afraid of feeling rejected or told you’re not good enough.

That constant fear held me back from trying new things. Held me back on coming out of my comfort zone.

Not going to lie. Even to this day, I have some trace of it left. But it doesn’t hold me back as it used to.

My perfectionist self wouldn’t have the confidence to write this post and publish it. I would feel people are already pre-judging. Looking at my spelling mistakes, sentence structure, or that the post is not interesting at all.

But what has changed? Simple. My mindset. But the act of transitioning one’s mindset is not easy. At least for me.

I still try to produce the best work I can manage. But not at the cost of my time and sanity. Over the years I have tried to find ways of combating this creative “disease”. I have never found the answer, but answers that would help me slowly overcome it.

Listen to the voice inside your head

We need to become self-aware of the voices inside our heads. What voices do you hear?

Are they compassionate and inspiring you to do good? Or are you mean to yourself?

The more you diminish yourself. The more afraid you become of trying new things. What you shape inside your mind becomes reality. We need to start believing in ourselves and our abilities from within. We need to internalize it first.

“If your voice in your head is mean to you. Remember that someone manipulated that voice and instilled it in you. Kill that fake voice and find yours. I love you. Now love yourself.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Pay attention to what you consume 

Self-doubt starts to grow when what you consume makes you feel bad about yourself. The content we consume shapes our minds and world-view.

We aspire to be perfectionists but feel defeated when we see other creatives doing great. People who never show the “ugly” side can create a negative impact.

That’s why I love to follow people who dare to share and show that not everything is pretty. That there’s room for mistakes. That it takes time, hard work, and wit to get where they are. We as consumers only see the top of the iceberg.

I lacked perspective. I didn’t pay attention to what was under the iceberg. Instead, I tried to feed the perfectionist within. But would give up.

Trying to get on someone’s level 5 instead of building on your level 1 slowly, will hurt. We should not only focus on the end result, but also the process along.

My final thoughts

I believe that perfectionism kills productivity and increases procrastination. That’s why I don’t like it when companies use that word to recruit people.

It gets dangerous when it hinders our growth. What you believe and have installed in yourself dictates your external behavior.

We need to tell ourselves that we are good enough and believe it. Take things at our own pace. Listen to people that make us feel good about ourselves.
It takes work and time to change. I’m still in recovering mode. But it’s worth it.

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