How I stop letting perfectionism hold me back by Jenn Bell #perfectionistproblems

Hi friends, Wendy here! Welcome to the #perfectionistproblems interview series. My mission with The Gratefulist is to help creatives let go of their perfectionism and embrace their perfectly imperfect selves.

I’ve personally learned so much from other people's perfectionist stories and that’s why I’m sharing these stories in a weekly interview series on the blog, in the hope of helping you deal with your perfectionism. Reading about personal experiences is a powerful thing and I believe there’s so much you can learn from these stories and insights.

Today, I’m very grateful to share Jenn Bell from ‘s perfectionist story. Over to you Jenn!

 How I stop letting perfectionism hold me back by Jenn Bell - With the #perfectionistproblems interview series it's my mission to help creatives let go of their perfectionism and embrace their perfectly imperfect selves through sharing real honest stories, insights, and experiences of dealing with perfectionism. Click through to read the entire interview. Plus, there's a free perfectionism-busting workbook!

In what way does perfectionism show up in your life?


Perfectionism is a way of life and one that is exposed to us constantly, sometimes without us even realizing it, so it can become so common or something we’re so used to. For me, perfectionism shows up more in my career work life and blogging work life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “If I don’t do it, then it doesn’t get done or it doesn’t get done right/efficiently”.


Why do you think perfectionism is such a dream killer?

It is so draining and consuming! It takes time away from you, where you don’t get to enjoy the life that you want or you’re too busy to do the things you want to do.

It can take money away from you where you spend money on things to be “more efficient” or buy things to “outsource” so you can focus on something else that takes up more of your precious time.

It’s soul draining by not enjoying life - it makes your heart lose it’s passion for life, dreams and things you typically enjoy. It’s mentally exhausting by keeping your mind in a constant stressful, worrying, anxious state.

That’s takes a BIG toll on you after awhile! It’s also physically exhausting for the same reason - you’re always on the go, never stopping, never resting until your body MAKES you stop to rest.

How does perfectionism affect your soul and success, both in work and life?

For work, I can sometimes put on too many tasks and not share or delegate. I can sometimes come off as not sharing, aggressive or distant.

I haven’t heard this regarding me as I am usually a pretty open person, but we’ve all heard this phrase about other people: “Oh, don’t do that! {Enter name} will get upset if you do their {enter item/task/project}!” We all can think of that ONE person who fits this perfectly.

For life, I get so caught up in trying to balance everything and essentially make it “perfect”, that I usually drop the ball somewhere. It then leads me to get anxious and upset and I’ve lost out on the opportunity to smell the roses while trying to plant the perfect garden.

What does embracing imperfection mean to you?

Being able to relax, seeing the beauty in the flaws, getting to enjoy life without feeling consumed, worried and stresses.

What’s the single most important thing about perfectionism that’s holding you back?

How easy it is to fall into the trap and how much it’s thrown in our faces to be perfect (perfect body, perfect job, perfect level of wealth, perfect car, perfect fashion style, perfect hair, perfect skin…). We learn “the system” and our desire to fit in opens the door for perfectionism to come in and take over.

I see perfectionism like the color orange - fire, pretty flowers, vibrant,  pretty and attractive - but it can be dangerous too. We want to do good and excel and be vibrant in our lives. But just like fire,  while it can be pretty, good and helpful, it can also be devastating, bad and hurtful.


Tips and tricks about dealing with perfectionism? Share them!

Ask for help! While it's extremely difficult to ask for help because of the risk of exposing vulnerability, we are not Superman or Wonder Woman. We all struggle and we all know that we struggle, not matter what our minds tell us. In asking for help, you may create an ally, gain a friend or even find an easier, better or more efficient way to do something. A win-win!

When I’m training someone at work, I show them options. I show how I was trained, some tips I’ve tried, and some other tips from co-workers. As long as we get the same result and management is ok with it, I try to give my trainees options so they get the material in a way they can understand and efficiently use themselves. I always tell them that they will find their own groove and rhythm on how to do things, but if their way isn’t working they have other options to fall back on that have been proven to work already.

Take time to release it all! Whether you turn the phone off and watch tv or a movie, whether it be the gym or a sport, whether it be a spa or pampering item - take the time to give your brain (and your body!) time to rest and reboot. Like a computer, if you keep going on and on and on and never reboot/restart, it’s going to slow down, won’t update and it’s just going to be frustrating.

If I “have to be” perfect in {enter here}, then I look for ways to positively challenge myself.

Share a favorite quote or mantra that you use to remind yourself that who you are and what you do is good enough?

I don’t have a particular quote or mantra, but I think this quote about the Japanese Bowl really applies to everyone, especially when we’re feeling down, depressed, broken, not worthy: “In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty. Consider this when you feel broken.”


Who is this perfectly imperfect, soul-connected creative?

Jenn Bell is the owner of the blog Crescent Moon & Stars with the dream that she is able to help others live a positive, motivated and inspired life full of passion and purpose with the goal of shining bright together. Jenn is a Charleston, SC native who works full-time in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry (self-nicknamed the Hospitality Junkie), an aspiring Event Design/Concierge Services business owner, loves Dr. Pepper and Wild Cherry Pepsi.

Website   //   Pinterest


Wendy, again! Phew, that was SO powerful! Thank you, Jenn, for sharing your story so courageously. Make sure to show Jenn some love in any of the places linked above.

Are you inspired by Jenn's story and ready to let go of your perfectionism? Make sure to download my FREE perfectionism-busting workbook. Just click the button below!