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?
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