So, I'll admit it. I am a recovering perfectionist. I blogged about it here, after a 12-hour editing bender left me begging for ways to improve my writing process.
Many of us want to strive toward great heights, write the best books we can, because we want to be successful in this business. But doing so also makes us vulnerable, and when that happens, perfectionism sometimes gets in the way.
Brené Brown explains this further:
So perfectionism, if left unchecked, is not only a shield that protects, but also one that blocks.
This past week I had the fortune of meeting author T.C. Boyle when my creative writing class sat with him and asked him questions. Mine was, "What is the biggest mistake writers can make?" And yes, if you're keeping track, that question is riddled with perfectionistic tendencies.
But his answer surprised me: "There are no mistakes."
There are no mistakes. It took a minute for this to sink in.
Perfectionism waves a finger and says mistakes aren't okay. Mistakes will make you ache. Make you sad. Make you face what you can't fix.
But they aren't mistakes. Not really. They're a necessary part of the journey, one I shouldn't shy away from. Even when I think I'm bungling, it leads me further along the path. Gets me closer to my goals.
And there's no growth without it. If we face our struggles head on, on our own, without letting the judgment of others get in our way (Amazon book reviewers, I'm looking at you), there's no limit to what we can do.
So with that in mind, I leave you with the following quote:
“Start shaping your own day. Start walking your own walk. This journey is yours, take charge of it. Stop giving other people your power to shape your life.” - Steve Maraboli
Question to all: Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? If so, how has it hindered you, and what strides have you taken to overcome it?