I Think I Must Be a Perfectionist

Not exactly an over-the-board, can’t sleep type, but a mild case of procrastination and self talk kind of perfectionist.

Why do I believe this?

Because I tried to record three short videos yesterday to introduce a segment for a new coaching kit soon to be released.

The videos only needed to be 30-120 seconds. Yes, that would be seconds — not minutes!

Let me tell you how it worked and you tell me if I am a perfectionist.

I decided to sit out on the deck at my lake-side office. So out I went with my iMac with Quicktime up and running.

I sat on a bar stool with my iMac on a fencing ledge and hit “record new movie”.

I started talking. Then I messed up the name of the topic, so I stopped the recording and played it back.

I scrutinized my hair. I scrutinized the tilt of my glasses.

I scrutinized the top I had on.

I scrutinized every little wrinkle, tilt of my head, and where my eyes were focused.

I decided this wouldn’t work.

So, I slapped on more make up, changed lipstick, changed my top, figured out which way my glasses needed to tilt and started recording again.

And again. And again.

I was obsessed with the way my mouth and face looked at the start.

You know....when someone first sees the video it is a freeze frame of the speaker’s face.

In one I looked like I was singing.

In another it looked like I was a serial killer on the hunt.

On the one I tried to smile, it looked like I was getting ready to steal someone’s wallet and was trying to distract them!

I had to do at least 15 takes. Okay, it was really more like 25 or 30 takes, and I had not completed one 30 second video.

I made the decision there was no way I could possibly do a video until I had my hair cut, bought a new outfit, and possibly found some new glasses.

Really! What was wrong with me?


I decided to show the videos to Charlie so he could affirm me in my decision to delay until I could have the perfect hair, perfect glasses, perfect mouth look at the beginning, and maybe a new shade of lipstick. 

He silently watched five takes.

His response, these are good.

Good? Did you see me?

In his kindest voice, he said “Honey, I thought you looked fine, but I wasn’t paying attention to that.

I was listening to the message! It’s good. Spot on.”

Really? “Yes, really. You don’t need to be perfect, you know.”

It was with those words I knew that my need for “perfect” had blurred my view of the content and the reason these videos were needed to introduce the work a coaching partner and I had put together to help other coaches.

Why did I do this to myself?

Because I was worried about what others would think of me.

I know that my perfectionism shines like a bright light when it comes to judging myself.

I never think I look or sound good enough.

I don’t really know what good enough is, but logically I do know that sometimes good enough is good enough and I decided that needed to be my mantra for 180 seconds.

Three lessons I took to heart as I re-recorded once more (Charlie had me move my chair for a better lake view...which I hadn’t noticed because I was too busy self-critiquing myself!).

    1)  Always remember: It is none of my business what other’s think about me — so quit worrying about it!

    2)  Sometimes the need for perfection = procrastination! If I strive for perfect, nothing will ever get completed. 

    3)  I refuse to listen to the negative committee in my head that stops me from doing the work I know I have been called to do.

Want to learn more about living life with greater freedom?

Click here for a link to our short video training. LINK


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