Dealing with perfectionism

by Admin K on May 20, 2008

The nice thing about jumping into anything with both feet is that if you don’t know any better, you can just go for it and move forward. But jumping in can be scary. The only thing harder than writing blog #1 is writing blog #2!

My hesitancy comes from being a bit of a  perfectionist (though you’d never know it from looking at my home or my office!).  Sometimes, if I know too much, I hesitate to get going because I fear I won’t do it "right".  But in many cases, doing things "right" can distract me from doing anything at all. Then, once I jump in, I get overwhelmed with all the things that will make whatever I am doing "better".

In this case, I want my blog to immediately be helpful, meaningful, full of insight, pretty, as good as as everyone else’s blog, have all the whistles and pops that make it most effective,  etc.  And although those things are important, they aren’t as important as just writing from my heart. The distractions are a great way of protecting myself from being too transparent and therefore, vulnerable. (Sometimes, I just take myself waaaay too seriously!)

In the meantime, the upside is that the simple act of trying something new and learning new things just makes me feel alive.  At my daughter’s graduation last week from Belmont University, President Bob Fisher, in his commencement address, admonished the student’s to never stop learning and told the story of a man who was 83 and had a terminal illness and had only months to live.  The man decided to take Hungarian lessons because he had always wanted to learn to speak Hungarian. How remarkable (and remarkable that I actually remembered something from a commencement address!). The man was all about living and not all about dying.  (The president also did a shameless self promotion for his new book "Life is a Gift: Inspiration from the Soon Departed" which as a seasoned marketer I could only respect!)

(OK, this is a great example: I want to put a link for this book to Amazon and I don’t have a clue how to do it. Sigh. But I can either post this blog now or wait to post it until I figure out how to get the hotlink.  In this case, I am choosing to move forward and figure the rest out later!)

So for now, I am going to set aside my self protecting perfectionism and choose to just jump in.  And you know, sometimes the splash of cold water is incredibly invigorating. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Hyatt 05.20.08 at 5:31 pm

Karen,

I am proud of you for getting started and for staying with it. You are in the water, so you will figure everything else out as you go. I also just gave you a shout-out on Twitter.

Mike

Pat Alexander 05.29.08 at 3:17 pm

Hi Karen,

I am currently working on setting up a blod in typepad and it is too funny that the thing you are stumped on was one of the 1st things I figured out but today I had to go look up how to do it again so I can share. You can set up a reading list or multiple reading lists under the Typelist tab. I don’t have any posts yet as I can’t decide on my first subject. Writer’s block. I just finished my next article for Steve and got if off today so my brain is empty. Anyway, you can see my book list at http://www.patalexander.typepad.com.

Hope all is well with you.

Pat

Alan 12.09.15 at 8:35 pm

Oh my Joanna, it is as if you reached into my soul and saw exlatcy what I have been feeling for the past several weeks. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and yet wanting to laugh with relief because finally my condition has a name. I have known for about a month that I was burnt out on go big, live your dream, monetize, productize, magnetize messages. I shut down and tuned out to try and find my own voice and motivation. I got depressed and felt that perhaps I was a non-ambitious loser who just had nothing to offer. Slowly, I have been working my way through to find the answers and now you have neatly laid them out in a nice numbered post. I cannot even begin to express how much I want to hug you for lighting the way out of this dark tunnel. Thank you Joanna, thank you! xo

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