I need to talk to you about your perfectionism.
How do I know you’re a perfectionist? I don’t…and yet I have an inkling I might be right about it. From the conversations I’ve had with clients, acquaintances, and business friends over the years, I know that I am not alone in my perfectionism. In fact, without a formal survey, I’d say at least 90% of the people who come through my door identify with being a perfectionist. In part, that’s why my clients hire a brand voice strategist and coach. They need someone else (puh-lease!) to take the reins on the project they’ve been unable to accomplish to their high standards of excellence.
Because of course that’s what it is, right? It’s excellence that drives (y)our desire to go through it one more time, consult the thesaurus just to see if you can find a better word, ask your friends to take a quick peek before you hit publish, then put it in a file for later when you’ll eventually dig it up and go through the process again.
Perfectionism is born from Excellence…and who doesn’t want to be excellent?
Except the problem occurs when that value of excellence drives us toward procrastination. We put off publishing, launching, or simply getting down to brass tacks and DOING the work because we want it to be perfect and we “know” we’ll never get there…that’s when excellence is no longer an ally.
The trick to getting beyond this vicious cycle is in knowing when to let go of the exact perfect copy, the exact perfect word, or the exact perfect way to describe your business. Let go of “exactly perfect”.
You won’t let yourself down by loosening your grip. Your value of excellence is already there. That perfectionism is probably still driving the car and it would never let it out of the driveway without a quick shine and enough gas to get you where you want to go. Your standards are high, higher than most I’d bet, and those standards got you to where you are.
When you notice that your perfection is taking over…and you allow yourself the permission to let go, here’s what happens:
- You hit publish, you launch, you put yourself out there and then…
- People read your work
- Some of those people respond with gratitude
- Some of them join your list
- Some of those will buy your services or join your program
- ..and you get to move onto the next thing
If that wasn’t convincing enough, here’s another piece of permission for you:
Your website is meant to be a living representation of your business.
The search engines love a website that updates regularly. You’ll add more blog posts, you’ll switch out your headshot, and guess what? You’ll also remember that word you wanted to use and you’ll slip it in where nobody notices you’ve changed it but everyone will feel the difference.
It’s the difference between Excellent and Perfect. Aim for excellent, embrace the imperfection, and launch the freaking project already. Then tell me about it. I’ll help you find that word you’re looking for.