”To escape criticism – do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard
Perfectionism is killing my dream.
It’s killing yours, too.
It’s a gut punch to think about how much I haven’t done with my life because I was waiting for the right time, or to be “ready.” How much art have I not made? How many potential clients have I not served? How many photographers have I not helped? Where would I be today?
Perfectionism is not discernment.
The Resistance tricks us into thinking we’re doing the right thing by doing nothing. Perfectionism disguises itself as an attention to quality, presentation, professionalism.
At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.” – Michael Law
How can you identify perfectionism in action?
It speaks just one word:
Tell me if you’ve ever said this to yourself:
- I don’t have the time yet.
- I don’t have the money yet.
- My art isn’t good enough yet.
- I don’t know what I’m doing yet.
- My camera gear isn’t good enough yet.
- I’m not ready yet.
- I don’t know what to say yet.
- I don’t know what to do if [what if scenario] happens, yet.
- I don’t know anything about [business, marketing, sales] yet.
- My web site isn’t ready yet.
- My pricing isn’t ready yet.
- I haven’t [read enough books, watched enough videos, done enough tutorials or courses] yet.
- I can’t compete yet.
- I don’t know how to use [social media platform] for my business yet.
- Photoguru Soandso said I can’t call myself a professional yet.
- I don’t know if I’ll ever be as good as Hero Photographer yet.
- I haven’t explored every possible thing that could happen yet.
- I don’t have a perfect plan yet.
Are you cringing, too?
Hey, my hand’s in the air, because these are all rationalizations I’ve made. I’ve fought half of them just writing this article. And don’t think because I’m writing this and you’re reading it that I don’t fight these battles all the time.
As a kid, I spent more time reading Nintendo Power than playing Mario or Metroid or Zelda because I wanted to play them perfectly.
As a teenager, I acted the clown and blew off doing my best at choir or sports or speech because I was scared to be imperfect at it.
As an adult, I’ve spent exponentially more time consuming education and information than practicing or teaching it, because I was scared to do so imperfectly.
As a mentor, I’ve brainstormed hundreds of ideas for how I can better serve startup photographers, but taken a pittance of action because I’m scared those actions will be imperfect.
I’ve tried every trick I could find to overcome perfectionism: productivity practices, motivational audiobooks, affirmations and visualizations.
Nothing worked on its own. I kept falling back into the same ruts, the same excuses to play small.
Until I learned of Imperfect Action.
How I Practice Imperfect Action
“Let it go. Let it go.” – Elsa
Read more inside…