We’re always waiting for the perfect timing, people, place or our big break before we follow through on our dreams. But what we really mean is, we’re not enough. We think our dreams are too big for us to hold, too grand to carry. We couldn’t me more wrong.
One sin I struggle with daily is procrastination. At any given time I have so many creative ideas swirling through my brain but most never see the light of day. It isn’t because I’m not driven. On the contrary, almost all of my ideas get planned and completed. I simply find reasons – or rather excuses – not to share them with people.
A lot of it stems from misguided perfectionism.
My inner saboteur begins planting seeds of doubt: My creations are too similar to something else, not impressive or polished enough (that’s a big one for me!) or they’re out-dated and don’t resemble my “authentic self” anymore because I continue to evolve. Almost daily.
I had been sitting on the Beauty In Being Boss consultancy, blog and workbooks ever since I completed my first business degree back in May of 2015. That winter, my brother was involved in a terrible car accident and it was just the excuse I was looking for to bail on all my big business dreams. After he recovered and life settled down, I went on to pursue an even more impressive degree in business. Two years later, upon completing that, I still had nothing to show for all of my hard work except an empty promise to myself.
I continued to put off the launch.
“Soon” I thought. “I just have to do this, that, and a million other things to it before it’s ready.”
Everything else got prioritised before myself and my dreams. If my sister-in-law needed concepts for social media content, I was full of them. If my mother wanted to chat about marketing her books, only too happy to help. If a friend needed guidance on turning their hobby into a lucrative career, I was the girl to call. My project was never truly ready, it could always be better. Even if it was really good, it wasn’t good enough.
The procrastination was because I craved perfection and I craved perfection because, truthfully, I was terrified.
I wasn’t afraid of the hard work, rearranging my priorities or even the potential for criticism (this is the age of the internet, man, everyone with a smartphone is a critic!). It was getting started that scared me, leaping into the unknown, free-falling into the dreams I had been brainstorming for so long. I had gotten used to them being “the dream I looked forward to starting.”
The first step is always the hardest. Believing in yourself is some scary shit, because if you start to believe in yourself then everyone else will want to believe in you also. And suddenly, just like that, being a talented, capable and successful individual scares the pants off you more than working a boring job and living a mediocre kind of life.
The self-doubt begins to flood in…
Is this really what we want? Do we have what it takes? Where will it lead? What if we fail?
The truth, as I’ve come to know it, is this
You will have many wants throughout life and you should go after as many of those as you can, at the time opportunity presents itself, because desires change often. You are more capable than you realise and whatever you don’t know, you can learn along the way. Chasing your dreams may lead you everywhere all at once or somewhere very slowly but it will rarely if ever lead you nowhere. And there is absolutely no way you can fail if you have a fire in your heart.
Just jump. Leap and see where you land. Even if you only have one little creation to share – share it now. Post the photo you took, show the poem you wrote, upload the song you covered or list the dress you sewed.
Don’t you ever get tired of chasing perfectionism? I know I do.
Perfection is bullshit… Just be you.