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The Problem With Perfectionism

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

I've been hearing a lot of comments recently from women who feel they are "not good enough" to put their work out into the world and be seen. Guess what, friends? Men don't do that.

Here is a photo of me just a few months before my dad died. When I see this photo, my heart is joyful, remembering the events of the day. This snapshot was taken late in the evening, the night before my first Success Academy for Women. My significant and I had spent the entire day with my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law painting my dad's garage doors and power washing the deck. We stopped at an office supply store, then the library on our way home to assemble the folders with handouts for the next day's workshop. Every time I see this photo I break out into the biggest smile. There was a time in my life when I would have focused on the negatives that I now have to look for. My hair is filled with paint chips, I have zero makeup on, and while I wanted a neutral nail color, I seem to have chosen one that is the color of cement.

These things are irrelevant to me now. That was one of the last fun days we had with Dad. The next day I launched the most successful program at that point of my career. Afterwards, I rushed to my parent's to tell them how it went. I remember Dad beaming with pride when I told him that 75 women attended and 71 purchased a membership to Success Circle. Of course, in his true fashion, he replied with, "What happened with the other 4?"

That was my dad 😂 😂

Even as he was saying that, he was adding up the numbers in his head and was SO. VERY. PROUD.

There was a time when I found his comments irritating, insensitive, and hurtful, but fortunately I had a mentor who helped me overcome those thoughts and the need to constantly prove myself.

Imagine if I had cancelled that workshop because of my dad's illness?

No one would have blamed me for doing so. Seventy-one women would have missed out on the course that year.

What if I had said, "No, no, don't take my photo, I'm not wearing makeup and my hair's a mess!" The memory would have faded.

I am so very glad for the mentor, many years ago, who said, "Beth it will save you a lot of trouble if you strive for excellence instead of perfection."

That tip resonated with me and I have embraced it ever since.

Does it resonate with you?

If you've been stuck in perfectionism or feeling like this lately:

then I want to encourage you to embrace excellence over perfection.

Here are some journal prompts and questions to consider:

What have you been resisting lately?

What are you hesitating to share?

Who is that hurting?

Let me paint a more specific picture for you.

If you're a divorce attorney who insists on being seen as perfect, your clients are going to hesitate to admit that their marriage is failing.

If you're a professional organizer who gives the appearance of having a perfect home, life, business, people may feel uncomfortable revealing their messy home and office.

If you're an investment broker who insists on perfection and avoids being seen or photographed unless everything is flawless, your clients might hesitate to share that they have less than a million dollars to invest.

If you're a life coach who only presents themselves with filtered photos, appearing glamorous on the beach with professionally done hair and makeup, it's less likely that people will trust you to guide them in improving their own lives, relationships, and careers.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that you should lower your standards. I'm suggesting that you relax a little and stop being so demanding of yourself. You can be relatable, admired, successful and known for excellence. The next time you are beating yourself up for not being perfect, remind yourself this, "Beth told me that no one wants to live or work with a perfect person."

I believe in you. And here is another non-perfect photo to prove it!

Want to join my success circle for women?

Thinking of hiring a private life or business coach?

Schedule a free mini-session here to see if we're a good fit.

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