Am I a Recovering Perfectionist?•
Posted on December 13 2019
It all depends on your definition of perfectionism.
Based on my definition, I’m not so sure.
I’ve been told my entire life that I am a perfectionist and too hard on myself. Real talk? My internal response has always been a knee-jerk, “Maybe you’re not hard enough on yourself.” Not pretty, but honest.
I’ll admit to having high standards.
I’ll also admit to being a work horse.
I’ll also cop-to having big goals and aspirations.
How can that possibly be perceived as bad? I don’t think it is! While at the same time, I think it can "go left", gone unchecked. I have experienced it myself with regularity. And I’ve learned we need to have enough self awareness and discernment to keep in in check. The ability to prioritize is a make-or-break skill.
A perfect example is being a Host, working live, daily, on national TV. It fed my high standards, work horse personality, and validated that goals can be realized and achieved. It also fed the bad side of perfectionism. (Notice I’m still not owning it as ‘my perfectionism’? I was going to delete that, but this post is an honest account and I’m still not sure perfectionism is as bad as some say it is.)
The bad side was having to be camera-ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Without much regular-meaningful downtime, so much of my time was spent maintaining a TV-ready appearance. The best way I can describe what it takes to be on TV every day? It’s like when you’re heading out to that special event. You get your hair and nails done, put on the type of outfit you wouldn’t normally wear, buy a new lipgloss, wear SPANX and those not-so-comfortable shoes. Think of the effort and imagine doing that daily. That’s what it was like. And my high standards made it more work than perhaps was called for. If a nail was slightly smudged, I’d repaint it. If I could have worn my hair in a pony tail but felt that a full blow out would be better for a specific show, I’d blow out, even if I was dead tired. There were times I could’ve used my judgement and not spent so much time researching categories I had hosted a thousand times. But I still did it. That’s just me. I can’t phone it in and I can’t do less than I know I’m capable of. That said, it went too far. I now see that I put too much into every little detail. I had no discernment and was unable to prioritize. That’s when it can go left.
If you’re reading this, you’re on the new Good Girl Mafia website, which launched about two weeks ago along with the new merchandise. You may not know that I personally produce and execute all of the Good Girl Mafia content. I am fortunate to have amazing people in my life who step in and help with photos, videos and technical things, but other than that, it’s all on me. And I shout out those people, because without photos, videos, etc., there is no content. I’m so thankful. That said, I create all of the social media, retouch photos, edit videos, designed the new Wear Your Empowerment line, and more. In typical fashion, I decided the morning before the merchandise was to launch that I neeeeeeeeeded to create an entirely new website. To be launched the next day. This meant canceling Thanksgiving and working around the clock to have everything done, including the new e-commerce section.
To me, this is an example of high standards, work horse tendencies and big goals and aspirations gone so very right. This was about listening to my gut, knowing that I can and will serve you better with an upgraded site. If your experience on the site is better, then you’ll come back. That’s all I want: I want you to come back for more encouragement, empowerment and entertainment. Period. Is the website exactly, precisely 100% where I want it? No, but I’m excited about it now and where it will go. This wasn’t about me obsessing over every last detail needing to be perfect. Full disclosure: In the past, I would have. I now have the self-awareness needed to prioritize and know that a tiny smudge isn’t going to make or break a thing.
My headline on BIG goals and aspirations? In order to achieve them, one must get started, get out of one’s own way, and put it out there, even if it’s not perfect. Now does that sound like perfectionism to you??? Me either! What it does sound like is knowing your own mind and knowing what needs to be done, to your own standards. For me, that’s growth. In the past I would have stressed out soooooo much over the “it’s not totally perfect”, ruining the process. Not this time. I really got so much JOY out of creating this website for you.
It’s a shift in mindset, not effort or output.
So to me, the jury is still out on the blanket ‘perfectionism’ statement. If you’re also told that you are a perfectionist and you’re reading this post nodding in agreement, here’s my advice:
And the next time someone accuses you of being a perfectionist, just smile, and keep it moving. We ‘perfectionists’ know the truth. And stay right. Don’t let it go left!