My daughter’s teacher told me that she’s a perfectionist. There was pride in her voice. Perfectionism will serve her well, she said.
But she’s wrong: I know the truth.
Perfectionism is a cage. A silencer.
The fear of being wrong, of looking bad, of being unprepared, the fear of judgment – keeps us locked in silence. And quiet people are powerless.
Maybe you agree with her teacher? You might argue that perfectionism means you care and it makes you work hard. I would argue that perfectionism destroys you.
Perfectionism keeps you from putting words on the page. From sharing your story from the stage.
It keeps you from being honest with yourself and from being vulnerable with others. It keeps you from giving your gifts.
Your desire to be perfect hurts the world and it keeps you from being your best self.
Because while you are waiting for perfect, the world is waiting for you to show up.
What if you had the courage to be imperfect? The courage to ship. The courage to stand. To say yes. To lean in. To sign up. To try. To give. To be you.
Is perfectionism even possible? We both know the answer. So, why are you holding yourself to an impossible standard?
Waiting for perfectionism is like waiting for a ship at the airport. No matter how long you wait, you’re never going to get what you’re waiting for.
So, let it go.
Perfectionism is not rooted in courage, it’s rooted in cowardice.
Yes, that’s harsh.
But friend, we have to snuff out this desire to be perfect. Ruthlessly. Courageously. Relentlessly.
Because if you let it stay – it will snuff out the light inside you. That light…that magic…the very voice that makes you special. Those gifts that light you up from the inside. That draw people to you. That make an impact. They are why you are here.
You and I have to love each other enough to share our gifts with each other.
So, please, I beg you. Don’t hide behind your perfectionism.
It doesn’t serve you. And it sure doesn’t serve the world.