I’m starting this blog because I recently identified that I’m a perfectionist who is afraid of failure.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer of some kind, but every time I try (and I mean EVERY time) I end up scrapping it and giving up, mostly because I don’t believe that what I’m writing is relevant, interesting, or good enough to post online for the whole world to see.
Then my husband called me out: he asked me why, if I’ve always wanted to write, don’t I just do it? In a loving (but not necessarily welcome) way, he challenged me to stop being afraid to fail.
I was baffled and angry: I’m not afraid to fail! I’m good at receiving constructive criticism! I love learning about new and better ways to do things; I know that I have so much to learn in life and failure is an essential part of learning, right?
Then I figured out what he meant: I read an article not long after this conversation that talked about being “Passably Perfect”. The article talks about holding yourself back because you don’t think anything you do is good enough to show in the open. If what you’re doing isn’t 100% what you want it to be, you call it a failure and quit. You never start the blog because your post isn’t exactly how you envision it. You never run the race because it doesn’t feel like you’re going to finish.
My world view was shattered. I didn’t even realize that I was a perfectionist up until this point! My husband was right: if I don’t think something I do is “perfect” according to my standards, I count it as a failure and don’t attempt it again.
The article goes on to say that the author had to find a new standard of perfectionism: Passably Perfect. She had to challenge herself to make her work “good enough”, publish it, and grow from it. It was inspirational to me because she was actually brave enough to post her work, and I definitely want to overcome this weakness in myself and follow in her footsteps.
My challenge now is to DO things: not put off doing them or stopping halfway because I feel like a failure. The only way to get better is to keep trying. That’s why I’m starting this blog instead of just keeping a private journal: it will force me to set deadlines and manage my expectations of myself and be vulnerable in a new way that will help me grow as a writer, a blogger, and a person.
On my blog I am going to write about things that I want to be better at but am not perfect: I’m going to try and grow in these areas and I invite you to learn right along with me, and add to the conversation when you have great insights! Please comment and follow along as I start this journey towards being Passably Perfect, not Perfectionist Perfect.