Perfect in our imperfections

As someone who has suffered through the effects of perfectionism most of my life, it was really liberating to write out a mantra recently that epitomises a more nurturing (and effective) alternative:

“This is pretty good; I think I’ll keep going.”

This one came from [amazon ASIN=”0330343580″]The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron[/amazon], and is one of many affirmations, techniques and perspectives that have helped me loosen the grip of perfectionism that had stopped me achieving much, let alone my best.

I know the other ActionCoaches have also struggled with the need to be perfect from time to time, so here is a collection of some of our top insights into how to live a more effective and fulfilled life:

  • In Perfect Paul and I discuss the effects of Perfectionism Paralysis, and how it stops us doing what we most want to do. Listen to this podcast for some action tips to …
  • In Be Anything But Perfect Gina & Chris talk explore limiting beliefs that could be at the heart of our perfectionist tendencies, highlight the warning signs and share some tips we can use to be successful even when we aren’t perfect.
  • In (Un)Great Expectations Gina & I discuss how our high expectations can come at a high cost to our relationships and ultimately are the cause of any hurt we feel. Listen to this for tips on how perspective and clarity can ease the disappointment.
  • If your perfectionism strays into external comparisons then you will want to listen to The Danger of Comparisons. Paul & Gina talk about the negative impacts of comparing ourselves to unrealistic ideals, and the way some industries contribute to these false images that we aspire to. Listen to this for a more healthy solution to comparisons that damage your self esteem and confidence.
  • In Don’t Call Me Perfect… I bust the myth that coaches must be perfect, and explain why we all have a choice between judging ourselves or trying to improve. Read it for 4 questions that will allow you to start exploring your ‘shadow’ side.

Returning to creativity – one of the best pieces of advice I received just before I started writing a book last year was that it was better to have a completed manuscript that needed a lot of editing, than no manuscript at all.

Having parked perfectionism at the door and allowed myself to write the novel, I wholeheartedly agree – and think that this is a great metaphor for anything in life.

I would rather have lived imperfectly, than never to have lived at all!

Please leave a comment and share how perfectionism has stopped you. If you’ve found a way to reboot your action, or this collection of tips has inspired you, then we’d love to know about it!