How many times have you avoided starting something because you knew you couldn’t do it perfectly? I almost didn’t write this post because I couldn’t think of a title. Think Pink? No, cheesy. Something…about fall? Come on, Hannah, you’ve exhausted every possible fall quote.
I think most of you who read this blog know me personally, but sometimes strangers reach out and let me know they follow along on here or Instagram (hiiii Internet friends! Keep it coming! Words of affirmation is my love language!). I’m always worried that my sense of humor doesn’t translate through the screen and people are left thinking Is this girl for real???
Because I’m a frustrated perfectionist, I often will scrap a whole project before it even begins if I don’t think I can complete it exactly how I envision it in my mind. Or I’ll let my room become a complete mess if I can’t find a place for a single pair of shoes. Why even bother if it isn’t ever good enough?
So for my fellow perfectionists, I thought I would share a few things that encouraged me today:
You improve through daily practice, not by leaps and bounds. Natural talents and gifts are a blessing, but they can work against you if you grew up not having to work hard at anything to do well. Sometimes things don’t come naturally, and success is incremental. This is especially true with things like working out: we all want a six-pack and toned calves after our first day at the gym, but rarely are we willing to put in the work, little by little, every day.
Failure isn’t the end of the world and is a valuable learning tool. Trust me, I’m saying this for me as much as you. I am so afraid of failing that sometimes I won’t even try. But failure is feedback, and it helps you figure out what to do differently next time to succeed.
You are more valuable than the sum of your achievements. This reminder comes from an article I read by psychotherapist Katherine Schafler on Thrive Global. She says that “people connect most to the ordinary things about you,” like the way you can’t decide what to order at a restaurant, the long-winded voicemails you leave, or the way you play with your hair when you’re bored. In contrast, she says during therapy sessions something that people never say are things like “I miss the way he got a 3.8 GPA in college.” We’re proud of the accomplishments of our friends, lovers, and children, but when we really start to list the reasons we love them, those reasons have little to do with success.
So here I am, in an outfit that doesn’t look exactly how I pictured in my head. I couldn’t find a skirt or a pair of pants to go with this shirt-dress/sweater combo, so…I nixed the pants. No pants, no problem. ✌🏻