How To Handle Your Perfectionism


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handle perfectionism

No no: I couldn’t be a perfectionist because my room wasn’t clean.

Sure, I’d laugh about it.

“I’m more type B- than A+’,” I’d say self-deprecatingly, with my hand on my heart to anyone who mentioned this Fancy People Disease of perfectionism.

But inside? I was a little bummed I seemed to lack the p-gene.

That Way Madness Lies…

To me, it was an affliction of those who Worked Too Hard, Cared Too Much, And Sometimes Helped Others to Their Own Detriment.

It was a label applicable only to people who liked to obsessively iron their shirts before each workday, painstakingly labeled everything in their spice cabinet, and were famous in the office for their miraculously error-free reports and color-coordinated meeting notes.

As for me?

I couldn’t even keep my sleeping quarters tidy, so it simply wasn’t accurate to humblebrag to the world about how sigh, I was just such a perfectionist — a high-standard unicorn in a universe of chaotic, careless donkeys.

It didn’t matter, I told myself.

I kinda preferred donkeys anyway.

Hee hawwww.

Who, Me?

And then, a couple of years into my business, I hired help.

And suddenly, someone else was able to see…

… That I could spend 6 hours at a stretch obsessing with the margins inside my email formatting, or on a sales page until they were just right. (“Dude, no one will notice.” “I’LL NOTICE.”)

… That I’d need to read drafts out loud about 20 times to make sure they were picked clean of typos and grammatical errors — and if something STILL went out with an oopsie? I’d banish myself to my Pit of Despair, wrapped in as many blankets as possible as I stared blankly at the wall, wondering when the sweet kiss of death would arrive to finally wipe this scourge of me from Earth.

… And that I hadn’t really started writing or creating content for myself yet at that stage, because ya don’t understand, I don’t have a 12-month content calendar or strategy ready with the most unique and awesome content concepts you’ve ever seen yet, so it would be pointless to start yet anyway.

I know you’re a perfectionist, but…” my VA at the time joked on a call, hoping to help me stick to the timeline of a personal project for once.

If It Looks Like a Duck…

“Not a perfectionist. Room messy.” I replied reflexively, half paying attention as I stared off into space, fretting about yet another potential typo on a client’s sales page but feeling too terrified of my own failure and carelessness to investigate.

“Hahaha. Good one, Hill,”

Huh?

Oh.

The lightbulb suddenly went off.

Oh. Wow. Right, I see it now.

Turns out, perfectionism isn’t only for fancy people with ironed collars. It was for the rest of us plain ol’ insecure donkeys too.

I have since altered my understanding of perfectionism from Fancy Person Disease, to Master Procrastinator’s Constant Head Cold.

Sexy Labels Are for Insecure Donkeys, Too

Because mostly, “perfectionism” is a sexy label that could most often be interchanged with “reasons I’ve given myself for not doing the thing because I’m scared of not getting exactly the result I want”.

Like an anxious hamster, perfectionism claws at the walls inside of us, constantly sniffing and squeaking, keeping us distracted from the real work in front of us.

While I’ve gotten better at keeping my bedroom tidy over the years (curse you, extremely neat husband!), my battle with my particular brand of chaotic perfectionism has waged, rowdy and raucous and finally acknowledged, in my head ever since.

And now, I see it every day with my coaching clients, too.

They don’t want to move forward with an idea until they can see how it will evolve 5 years from now.

They’re shy about creating content because if it’s not the unique, funniest, smartest, most irreverent, viral piece the internet has ever seen — what’s the point?

They worry about trying and testing new offers because what if something goes deep, terrified inhale wrong? And it flops? And everyone hates them? And they die alone?

The interesting thing about acknowledging my perfectionism later in life is that I had immediate access to resources and tools to help me address it.

Who’s a Special Snowflake?

But when I brought it up to my coach at the time, hoping she’d have… idk, some NLP trigger words or something that would effectively soothe this nervous rodent rattling within my chest, she did something extremely annoying.

Instead?

When I told her about my battle with perfectionism…

She shrugged.

THE AUDACITY.

“So there’s a typo in your email, the margins are jacked up, you tried your best with your new offer but it didn’t work out, and you don’t have a content strategy.

So what? You’re human. Do better next time, and move on.”

Uh, EX-QUEEZE ME?

No ma’am, it couldn’t be that simple.

You don’t understand. My Special Lady Perfectionism is layered and fragile and covered in messy custard and powdered sugar that gets everywhere, like Napoleon cake. Surely my counter strategy must be equally complicated and sticky or else — what’s the point?

She shrugged AGAIN.

“The reality is, you do it and you make progress, or you don’t.” she said. “Stop taking things so god damn personally. Learn to say ‘meh’ a little more. See what happens.”

NO.

Ugh.

Ok fine.

And so, terrified as I was, I attempted to lean into the MEH of it all.

Typos and margins? Meh. (<– she said, with trembling hands)

Blog post got 0 likes or comments? Say it with me, my enormous ego: “Meh.”

New offer was a solid start but could clearly use some tweaking? Meh — I knew there would be updates to be made, and I wasn’t a failure. All part of the journey.

Becoming the Little Engine that DOES

And what happened was… for the first time, I started making progress on the things and ideas I wanted to put out into the world.

But by far the most interesting aspect of perfectionism is that, while it’s basically a universal affliction in the business world — it also shows up differently for absolutely everybody.

(Yes, even those of you with messy bedrooms.)

For example, Margo’s brand of perfectionism is a completely different flavor from mine, and causes her brain to do entirely different somersaults, which you’ll hear all about on today’s episode of HAMYAW.

Margo and I talk about perfectionism endlessly, especially because leaning into the “meh” muscle of it all is basically the only reason the show has stayed alive through a pandemic and endless lighting and mic problems. ;)

“Welp, better luck next time,” we’ve learned to tell ourselves with the gritted discipline of Navy Seals. “We’ve gotta put out an episode today, so let’s go for it.”

Permission To Be Perfectly Imperfect Too

And so today, we wanted to bring the conversation to the surface, and dig into the nuance of perfectionism — to talk about:

  • The weird ways perfectionism shows up for ourselves and our clients
  • Why we can sometimes mistake perfectionism for “wanting to deliver value”
  • Why it holds us back (sometimes with the best intentions)
  • And just what we can do to rock with it.

Click here to catch it now.

And of course – WE WANT YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS.

What’s YOUR weird brand of perfectionism?

How does it show up, and what does it tend to keep you from doing?

And, once you spotted it… how did you learn to move through it?

Spill the p-word tea on over there in the comments, and I’ll see you over there.

Happy watching!

Write on,
H

Episode Transcript

I know, feel like I also can’t tell the signals, like, in a pandemic, between call it restorative rest and avoiding big, important things.

Yeah, right? I can’t.

Oh my God, the accuracy of this statement. 

It’s like, “I need a nap.” Is it restorative or is it avoidance?  

We don’t know!

Let’s find out.

(upbeat music) 

Welcome back, marketing nerds of the world! 

It’s time for another episode of HAMYAW.

And today, we want to talk about the big P in the industry.

Oh, yes, folks!

Not that other thing you’re thinking of, today, we are going to talk about perfectionism in the entrepreneurial space, that tricky, sticky, little problem that somehow has you holding yourself to an impossible standard while also somehow keeping you frozen in place at the same time.  

So before I say another word, Margo, talk to me about your relationship to perfectionism.  

Oh God. Okay recovering perfectionist right here.

Yeah, I was the type of perfectionist who also was like, “Ugh, I’m not even good at being a perfectionist!” 

You know, like, I’m not A-type enough. You know, like, just constantly ragging on myself. But, yeah! It’s like that state of perpetual perpetration.

I can’t speak for everyone else, but I know for me, it showed up as I learned to be this way. I wouldn’t say that I, like, woke up a perfectionist.

I learned to get A’s in school, and I learned to value myself on my over-preparation and my studying for the test and my ability to comply.

And so, when I went and ventured into entrepreneurship and the rules are different! The rules are so different, where it’s really more about being in the arena and fighting your way through and then being like, “Oh, that’s a rule. Okay.” 

Yeah. No one told me, but there’s no manual for this.

Yeah, but that’s the thing! One one hand, people be like, “There’s no manual, you’re making the rules up.” And on the other hand, they’re like, “Take my 10-minute course. Let me tell you all the rules they don’t want to tell you.”

I falsified their thousand-dollar mastermind In this system.

Yeah!

And, like, I totally fell for that hook, line, and sinker because I came from graduate school.

So, like, I understood this when I was in study mode. I mean, I see so many people do this. They email me constantly like, “I’m taking a course in this.” And I’m like, “Girl, you want to learn sales? Sell me this pen!”

Yes! 

Yes, absolutely.

Go!

Absolutely.

And this is part of my thing, and I see this a lot in my own work with my students.

So, I also, after many years of denial, would also definitely qualify myself as a perfectionist at this juncture just because of so many ways, different ways it shows up. 

And I think it’s kind of impossible to be in the entrepreneurial space and not tangle with perfectionism in some form just because you’re like, “People are going to see this, people with eyes!”

Not everyone has eyes. 

But, you know, people who read this and see this, not everyone has eyes I guess that’s an important qualifier, but the thing that I see in a lot of my students is something that I really struggled with for a long time and I did want to coin this, before we get to the conversation is also, the perfectionism of preparation. So you have, uh, students of mine sort of in my programs and you know, people I coach, who they’re like “okay were getting ready to do the thing, and I want to make sure that I’ve thought about absolutely everything possible before we get there.”

Like I want to make sure the strategy is super tight, I want to make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed in my preparation before I even think about actually publishing like so check out this spreadsheet, check out this long document I’ve created, look at all this stuff that I have prepared in order to procrastinate actually doing the thing but I think this is part of, you know, holding ourselves to an incredibly high standard as creatives and as entrepreneurs.

But I see it so often, where when you think perfectionism you think someone just worrying about, how a blog post is written, or like the last paragraph, you know, but what actually shows up is people making sure, like, they don’t even want to show up if they don’t have a content strategy, you know, they don’t want to create everything, or appear on social media if they’re offers aren’t perfectly clear, and they’re not sure of their mission and framework like all that stuff helps and will make it more targeted and better but the reality, the name of the game, is showing up. 

Even if you don’t have a perfect, sort of strategy where everything fits together on the backend, if you are not showing up, you are losing the game. You know, and I think we get so caught up in wanting to play the game perfectly when we arrive, that we always, always forget that the arriving was the whole point in the first place.

No, but I think that arrival, showing up is a delusion like you are here.

Exactly, yeah

You are here. I hear that a lot too with audience, where it’s like “when we have this big audience I’ll lead” and I’m like “lead now!”

Yeah exactly, let them come, yeah

You have 10 people they’re listening. 

Yeah, yeah 

Like it matters, those people matter.

I love what you said about showing up too, and I’m thinking, like, I was so lucky in having two entrepreneurial parents,

Ah yeah 

So, as much as I was like, “I would like to do all things by the book” like I would have done really well with your mother, because she would have, like, edited all of my papers.

She watches the show, hi mommy!

Hi, no for real I would have been like, [British Accent] “Please sir can I have some more” you know, like and I –

(My mom’s English that’s where that joke comes from continue)

It’s from Oliver.

Instead, I had parents when I’d be like, “aw man I got an A-minus look” and my dads like “it’s fricking good, what”! Literally, they were like why don’t you skip class and be a normal person, and I was like “what why would I do that!” 

So I had parents that encouraged thinking differently, so when I was approaching jobs, for example, my dad would ask questions, “well did you call this person, did you show up, did you meet this person, did you take them out for coffee did you ask them questions” and I was like “Dad I asked you to edit my resume.”

And he was like “no one reads resumes” and I was like “What!” Like my dad was just existing on a different field, and my mom was similar so if I had an issue with a teacher like you would expect our parents to intervene, and instead, she would be like, “I don’t care. You fight with them.”

And I said “What!” Cause my parents are always like, in terms like, “oh I got an A on this test” my dad’s like “good that’s exactly what you are supposed to be doing, congratulations on doing the job that you are supposed to be doing!” and same thing with like teachers, my parents would always take the teacher’s side, like ” what did you do?”

And I’m like “(upset)” I’m kind of a little shit as a kid.

I don’t blame my teachers at all.

So here’s what relates to perfectionism, like I think the proudest my parents were of me was like, when I would edit a test and be like, “This question isn’t fair” and like, purposefully do a bad job and they’re like “Yeah but you were right!” and I’m like “yes I was!” 

And they like encouraged that so like, I have that breeding but I beat it out of me when I went to school cause I like, it really fed that perfectionist side, where a teacher would be like “Here’s the test, here’s the rules, memorize these get this” and I’m like “I could be good at this, I can do this” and so I brought that into entrepreneurship. 

So when, as soon as someone said “There is a right way to do marketing.”

I was like, “let’s talk.” 

Yeah yeah 

Its really hard to know when you’re in it when you are using perfectionism as procrastination.

And what is good enough. I think that is the question like what is good enough, what is good enough preparation and I’m going to go ahead and tell people showing up and being in the arena, you are never, going to feel fully prepared. 

Yeah that’s so true at least not in the beginning like you do eventually get reps, but even for this show right now, I showed up with Hillary and I was like, “I don’t have the energy, I don’t think I can do this” but we are enough of professionals at this point to actually like, she knew how to talk it out of me she knew how to get me more comfortable, she knew how to get me back in the zone, right! 

And here we are. 

But even so, like this show would not exist had we listened to our inner perfectionist because our lighting is bad, the timing’s never right the topics are never fully fleshed out, the segments never go the way we want, people don’t show up.

There’s just so many things or not entirely true but those are all things that have happened, yeah my mic is fucked up, yeah, again when we get into this preparation, I think there’s like this vision of checking all the boxes then saying like “okay I am ready” and then like the doors open and like, the butler announces you at the top of the stairs and you descend into the industry and everyone’s like “aw yes-(mumbles)” when in reality, like, it’s just a lot messier, a lot quieter, there’s a lot less velvet involved. I know it was a turning point for you Margo and also me when we kind of made the decision in our businesses to put things out before they were perfect.

I think back in the day, like my blog strategy, cause I had waited for so long to actually start writing for myself and start putting stuff out there back in my copy days, I think I was three or four years into business before I even started writing for myself or showing up in any particular way tied to business on social media because my business was all refusals.

Cause I was like well I have to have a content strategy there has to be monthly themes, and I have to and those things help but to keep you on track but I was like I need to make sure this is done I need to make sure I’m talking to my audience and blah blah blah.

Strategy, and here’s also the part that, that part really bored me out of my gourd um so I really just wanted to be writing and it wasn’t until I kind of set a goal of writing and blogging and my goal was one blog post a month one good blog post a month and that was it. That was the whole strategy and it worked you know because it got me showing up in a way that all that fancy spreadsheets and the prompts and the workbooks that were supposed to help me plan that out couldn’t do because they weren’t getting me to do the most essential thing I needed because I was still stuck in my perfectionism, which is to just show up, publish, do the thing and see what comes back.

Yes! Oh my god, I love this so much we used to do this in Ignition (R.I.P) a writing accountability group I used to run.

But setting realistic goals is also something perfectionists hate like we cannot handle, we have to be over the top like “if I’m going to write, I’m going to write six blog posts a week, maybe twelve a day.”

Batching

Yes, exactly and we just go so over the top and I remember I would sit down with people I’m like “I need you to write ten minutes, three times a week.” 

Yeah

That’s it! Don’t write anymore.

You’re not allowed to write anymore.

And it’s just like building the practice. By the way that comes from behavioral science, like BJ Fog says “if you want someone to start flossing, tell them to floss one tooth.”

One tooth, yeah just like one, and you can’t not do the rest right but like go on just one and so um its brilliant if you apply into other things, but your inner perfectionist like wants to go all the way and you can’t do it, so when you set realistic goals you’re more likely to reach them and it also makes it more manageable.

It’s like getting a base tan, you know like you don’t wanna get like yourself so burned by overexposure but like when you start to put your work out into the world whether that is, sales, whether that is content whether that is growing your business, like whatever it is it is weird in the beginning. So like don’t dive in headfirst to the deep end you can ease in by having like vulnerability exercises places where you show up, where like maybe you take more meetings that make you uncomfortable. Like the point is showing up I think is the sweet spot where you’re actually in the arena.

I think people don’t understand what we mean when we say show up so let’s try and define it for them, cause like it’s one of those things like “do the work”, that gets thrown around and like no one knows what it means.

Okay, let’s talk about it. So this is the definition for me Margo, and I think it’s the same for you is showing up is literally getting published, that it’s hitting post, hitting send just putting that offer in front of somebody like that to me is what showing up is. Talking about your work and doing the work and making the offer in public

Yep, I would say it’s any place where what exists in your mind or only exposed to you gets exposed to the public in somehow even if it’s just one person. So it’s making a sales call it’s going on a go-see when rejection is a possible outcome.

There we go! That’s it, yeah. I think anywhere where rejection is a possible outcome. 

It could be a tweet.

We talk about perfectionism in content a fair bit but perfectionism in offers is also particularly problematic especially around offers that are more advanced or something that you haven’t done before or involves a strategy element.

It is so easy to get stuck in that like “oh what if I don’t do everything exactly right and this person will fire me and say mean things about me and my business will tank and I will die alone.”

That for me was a huge one, so when I was writing a copy for so many years, copy is simple, right? You know you can change your packages. but at the end of the day, you’re doing strategic writing for money. That is copy. And not to say its not scary and people can’t, you know, get into perfectionism around their own packages, but that to me was a sensible exchange. I was doing labor, they were giving me money.

But when I moved into the strategy and coaching space because that’s much more advisory that’s much more “okay lets zoom out and look at everything here’s what I want you to do”, that scared the crap out of me because one, I didn’t have control over the results and the execution, and two, in my form of perfectionism comes through while I am just obsessed with making sure everything works for everybody. I get real close but just statistically with the human population being broad and deep it is just impossible to have everything work for everybody. And I went in circles about that for years, because I was like “well if I can’t do that then why do it at all”.

My perfectionism is very all or nothing like that and that’s not to say, like, I got into the coaching and strategy here knowing like “well some peoples just not going to work for them that’s fine”. The realization I came to is that your job is to step people up with a structure and give them the help that is going to give them the tools to do the thing and then you have to let go of what happened when they try to do the thing.

Because that is a combination of their own experience, their own baggage, their own ideas, their own creativity, their own drive, motivating factors and you have to learn to let it go. And it wasn’t kind of until I accepted that uncomfortable truth that I felt ready to move forward in any way because I just wanna control to protect my reputation to make sure everyone gets value, you know, so it was so hard for me and it’s still hard for me.

Before I start with any client there’s always that little twinge of like “God I really fucking hope this works” cause even though it’s done, I’ve done it so many times now over the last couple of years and I think that sometimes we take that warning bell in our minds as a signal that we shouldn’t do something but in reality we’re just looking at all possibilities and yes, having this not work is one of them but is it the most likely result? Probably not and I think that’s sort of where I had to learn to sit. 

Totally, like it starts working when you try that’s the thing it’s in the reps it’s in the doing and it’s really really interesting I don’t think I knew that’s exactly where perfectionism cause mine shows up differently, I don’t have insecurity around the packages I have insecurity around self-definition so mine shows up when people are like “can you send me a bio” and I’m like (gasp).

That’s so funny!

And I had bios written, like there, already templated like I can just send them, but then I go back and am like this isn’t right, “who am I?” I go nuts and like this is what I do for a living so when people are like, “we are going to have you as a speaker, we are gonna have you in the podcast, we wanna have you as a coach, we wanna have you as a teacher” and I’m like great, “now send us a headshot and bio” and I’m like “NO!” 

How dare you  

“How do we introduce you?”

I’m like, ‘I don’t know!’

But it’s the same thing about control and the underlying question is always am I good enough?

Like that is what is really under all perfectionism is am I good enough? So for me, it’s always tweaking it to be like, “are they gonna know, am I totally a fraud?” and like wanting to control that perception and part of the work of showing up is, you can google this, but like I probably have twenty-five different bios out there that enhance different things. Some of it says my marketing experience, some is my writing, some is thought leadership some is just a list of my publications.

And they’re all just totally different. 

And like those angles are all true about who I am but it took me being in the spotlight, being introduced to go “oh nonono”.

That’s so funny, do you guys know how many bios I have? One, and I haven’t touched it in five years it gets outdated with like what I’m doing and sometimes I hear it, I’m like “yeah I don’t love that” and then I just move on, it’s so funny how our perfectionism kinda shows up in those different ways and I think in content for me I think this is my little perfectionism preparation was that if I get really into my own head being like “well I have to be smart and I have to be funny, and I have to be clever and it has to be something people haven’t heard a million times before”  (gasp) “I’m just going to go eat cereal. Like I’m not going to make this post.”

That’s part of it too, like for me everyone’s concerned about image because in the online space image is all you have because that’s the way a lot of people know you, is through your digital kind of presence so it’s no wonder we are tying ourselves into knots over that whether it’s in the form of our bios or whether it’s in the form of our offers you know, doing what they say they’re going to do so people don’t secretly talk shit about us in Facebook groups (Raspy voice) God forbid.

Telling the difference between high-quality work and having high standards, and perfectionism that is procrastination.

Oh yeah, it’s the length of time.  

Oh okay, talk to me about that

For me, just I’m my opinion I’m going to flip that question, I want your point of view on this too. For me, one annoying reality of how my brain works is I can sit down and bang out a strategy in thirty minutes, and then that’s the strategy I’m going with. I have been in situations where I have laid out that strategy in thirty minutes and was like ” that’s pretty good” and then come back and tinkered with it for weeks and months at a time, and then it just becomes super overwrote and terrible, and I’m like “Aw fuck it, you know what I’m just going to go back to the idea I originally had” and I think that is sort of where my perfectionism comes in where it’s like if I haven’t spent like three weeks perfecting this have I worked hard enough on it in order for it to be presented to the world?’

And that was also part of my thing around content where I can bang out a really awesome blog post in ninety minutes, but I would hold onto things and tinker with them unnecessarily because I was like, ” it must be perfect” like there’s no way this could be good enough for people’s eyes, and it wasn’t until I was like “you know what, let’s give it a shot” that I kind of learned that initial brain spill, especially when it comes strategy content, of course, that’s…it’ll often be full of typos and sometimes run-on sentences but when it comes to strategy I do my best work when I can see everything and distill it without thinking too hard about it, without like sweating it too much because then I’m making confident decisions as opposed to picking myself apart just because I feel like that’s what I had to do.

Um so for you where does that lie? 

Oh, fascinating, so it’s time. So, mine is more categorical.

Like if I am tweaking words it’s usually because I have high-quality standards and I need it to be right like I don’t care if something is poorly written as long as the idea is right and I feel like it represents me and I’m like “all right I can tweak that” like, I have high-quality standards with writing as long as the ideas are right and that I understand that I can tweak it as I go. For book chapters for example like I will time-wise invest so much time because my mental clarity and my process is so fucking backwards that like, my brain just doesn’t work linearly so ill write like, I’m not even kidding, like 4000 or 5000 words of just brain dump of like, “that was just you fighting with your dad” like get that out of there, like and then there’s like one paragraph and I’m like, “there’s my point.”

You know it’s probably how my husband feels about my conversations with him.

Like anyway.

My fighting style, yeah.

Yeah exactly where it’s like where are we going to wrap it up?

But where it shows up for me as procrastination is in categories, so like marketing, sales if I am dragging my heels and putting something out and tweaking in different categories like if I’m not selling something I know should just be out there or, a really silly example would be promotion with HAMYAW, so I know it’s coming and I know I need to do it I haven’t prepped, I didn’t pick a clip, it’s not ready yet, it’s already late in the day, I don’t need to overthink this, it’s an Instagram story, it’s gonna be deleted in twenty-four hours, it’s not a big deal, and I will just slave over the right, like “did I frame it right, is it interesting, would I click on that,” and I start going into these circles. Instead, I have had to learn to build that muscle of like sometimes I position the episode wrong.

Yeah, yep that’s so exactly and it’s so weird what a struggle that is for like a YouTube show that is free you know and that people enjoy, like imagine how in our own heads we get with our paid stuff. I so agree, because I get that with HAMYAW too sometimes I’ll pick a clip, and I’m like “was that the right one, well I have other shit to do so up it goes”.

When it comes to working with your own perfectionism and kind of moving through it, what has been the most impactful strategy for you?

I mean lots of therapy, I think it’s like a muscle like anything else, like developing comfort with discomfort. 

I don’t want to over-promise and tell people it gets super easy but there are patterns that emerge so I’ll give you an example, I have been writing consistently once a week to my list for, four years now, and hitting publish feels so much less scary but it’s still scary, so like now what has changed in my view is I still want to put good work out I still want everyone to like it, but I’m very clear that the responses will be one of three, right. I’m gonna get a praise that I don’t deserve, I’m gonna get criticism I don’t deserve, and that a few people will actually click. And then maybe someone will ask a thoughtful question but like, pretty consistently you see the same thing and when you start to see the same thing over and over again it does get easier to put something out.

And like where I still struggle, and what the goal is, is to not be reactive to the market, not to be like ” oh my God I had a post that like everyone shared so now I’m hot shit” and then the next week everyone ignores your email and you’ve set your expectations too high. So like perfectionism is really, all it is y’all is you believing your not good enough about something, like that’s what it is and so if you can do the work, so you ask me what helps believing that I am good enough or that I’m where I am and I will get better like and allowing that to be enough is what helps that’s the only thing that’s helped.

Like “okay this offer’s going to be thrown out like it might not work, like, go, it’s not the best, best of the best but we’re getting there.”

Yeah, that’s so true, and that’s been so helpful for me too because it’s like, were not publishing because we’re done, were publishing because we want to keep learning y’know were putting this out there because it needs to reach the market and it needs to be tested.

I think probably now that you say that like that has been the big cure for me too where it’s like, well if it’s not out there it can’t do anything, it could be terrible, it could be awesome I’m not gonna know either way if I’m keeping it away in a little secret box over here. Also just like doing the work to soften my ego a little but, because if something doesn’t work it doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person it just didn’t work and we take the data and we move on that’s it! That’s your one job y’all, so if your perfectionism is coming to hunt you down like Freddie Krueger, maybe consider telling it that.

I will piggyback off of that because she actually does cure perfectionism in the sense of creative allies. I think when you have friends in the arena they don’t fuel the perfectionism like you do need friends-like I will call Hillary and she will be like “Margo publish it!” Or she will do what Sarah will say to me sometimes is “mhmhmh, maybe keep this one to yourself”.

You have people who have a different barometer and having people in the arena with you is what matters. So as we wrap up I want to remind everyone what it means to be in the arena. What it means to show up when me and Hillary say that, it is putting yourself in a position where you might get rejected, where you might be mocked, where you might fail, where the thing might not sell where the reader might hate what you wrote. If it might not work as an outcome then you are showing up.

You should be very proud of yourself! 

That’s right!

And good on ya. 

We are proud of you.

We are so proud of you, you go! 

We are though! 

Pep talk I know, we genuinely are, I’m like how do we say that while being genuine and also seeming genuine, this is the perfectionism of preparation people, we are not retaking that, anyway, Margo.

Like I do want to sidebar, that like when y’all share stuff in the comments about your wins or something you’ve learned or like where you’ve messed up, and like what you’ve learned about it, we are just like both of us will screenshot y’all sometimes and be like “we were the cause of this, look what they did,” like even if we didn’t comment, we read them so, thank you guys for participating. We’re here for it we are your cheerleaders in the corner!

Yes we are.

All right we want to hear from you, we talked about perfectionism being procrastination versus having high standards, we talked about ways to identify your perfectionism, we talked things you can do to mitigate that perfectionism and remember, that you are enough, and accepting where you are and still being able to achieve. 

So, tell us where is your inner perfectionist showing up? Is yours in having to self-identify like Hillary where it’s like the products, like tell us where it is showing up, where is it holding you back? Where has it maybe even resulted in something good that you’ve done? I doubt it, but like let’s hear and what are you doing now to combat it.

So we want to hear from you, as always if you like this episode please like it below subscribe to our channel, and share it with your friends bring them over.

As always I am Margo Aaron.

And I am Hillary Weiss.

And we will see you in two weeks! 

Bye for now y’all, see you soon!

Photo by Juliet Clare Warren

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