Hey you, it’s been awhile! How have you been doing?
For me, these past few weeks have been such a whirlwind experience. Struggles, confrontations, emotions all over the place, lessons learned… you know, the works. Oh, and of course I spent night after night Netflixing (AKA doing a Netflix marathon, but I feel this - like googling - deserves its own verb. Right?! Who’s with me?!) ;)
And now for a capital A (*drum roll please*) Announcement:
There are going to be some changes on the site and blog in the upcoming weeks. Now this is something I’m really excited (and nervous!) about.
The Gratefulist is slightly changing its focus and the brand and website is going to reflect that.
The new site design is a lot more intentional in its design and is more suited for the direction my brand and audience (= you!) are headed in. But don’t worry, The Gratefulist keeps on being as cheerful, colorful, perfectly imperfect as you know it.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes? A new name for the loyal The Gratefulist supporters and cheerleaders. I’ll tell you all about the new name (and my reasoning behind all of it) when the site redesign is revealed. Stay tuned!
On my latest bout of Netflixing I came across one of my new favorite shows called Jessica Jones. Jessica is a badass superhero with superhuman strengths. Despite all of her badassery she still falls victim to her arch nemesis Killgrave and his powers of mind control.
This got me thinking: Killgrave is my arch nemesis, too! Perfectionism is exactly like being intoxicated by Killgrave’s mind control skills. One moment I’m quietly working on a passion project and, before I know it, that little voice of perfectionism creeps in and has me questioning what I’m doing is good enough. Mind control in action. (No? Just me? Is Netflix getting to me? Bare with me here…)
No matter how badass I am, no matter how much of a superhero I am, perfectionism always catches up with me.
Sometimes I’m able to resist - thanks to my superhero strength :) - but other times I can’t resist the mind controlling voice of perfectionism in my head.
That’s why I’ve created this new series called #perfectionistproblems. I made a list of all the ways perfectionism has an effect on my life and I’m planning to focus on a different perfectionist problem each week, sharing my experiences and insights. And, of course, there’ll be tips and challenges to help you on your way.
Most of all, I want you to participate! Leave a comment with your #perfectionistproblems or share your experiences - why don’t you write them down or make them into an artwork? - on Instagram or Twitter. Remember to use the hashtag #perfectionistproblems.
So, let’s get to it. Here’s the first in a series of #perfectionistproblems: not showing up.
I’ve been feeling guilty lately. For not showing up for you. I feel like I’ve made a promise to you and I didn’t stick to my end of the bargain.
Here’s what happened…
Each week, I’d set the bar a little higher for myself. You matter to me and I want to make sure that The Gratefulist is an invaluable source of inspiration, advice, and resources for you. In my mind, that meant that these emails needed to be better, wittier, and more valuable each week. I felt pressure to constantly add a new free resource to the library.
Just to be clear, you didn’t pressure me. I did this to myself. Or better yet, my perfectionism did this to me. I didn’t realize how my desire to build up The Gratefulist and be of service to you got twisted by my perfectionistic doubts and fears.
So I did what I always do when that perfectionistic pressure builds up: I shut down.
I shut down completely. I stopped showing up … and then felt so guilty about it. I felt like I failed you.
Shutting down is one of my go-to ways of responding to perfectionism. It’s an ingrained pattern for me - albeit not a healthy one. When I’m in the midst of a bout of perfectionism I have this recurring thought: “If I can’t do this perfectly, if I can’t show up and bring my best to the table, why would I show up at all?”
This kind of thinking is deadly - for my mood, my relationships, and my creativity. This kind of thinking is also false.
Perfectionism wants to make life into a simple either/or equation.
But it doesn’t work that way, does it? Life isn’t either/or. Even if I can’t do something perfectly, I can still show up. Even if I can’t bring my best to the table, I still bring something to the table. Once I started to question these thoughts and equations, I realized how warped my thinking was and how much I’d let my perfectionism take over.
Starting to question thoughts and beliefs is the first step to kicking perfectionism to the curb.
I also realized that, when I feel like I can’t show up in one aspect of my life, I can still show up in other parts of it. Even when I find it difficult to show up for work, I can still show up for friends or for myself.
So that’s what I did. I took some time off and focused on self-care for a while.
And that rest and self-care led to new ideas, new changes, and new energy for The Gratefulist.
Here’s my challenge for you this week:
1. Ask yourself this: “How do I show up in my life?”
2. Identify instances of either/or thinking and ask yourself how perfectionism plays a role here.
3. Do you feel shut down in one area of your life? How can you make sure to still show up in other area’s of your life?
Want more actionable strategies to help you let go of perfectionism? Download the free perfectionism-busting workbook.
Just a quick reminder: share your experiences about this week's perfectionist problem ‘Not Showing Up’ with me. Just comment and let me know your answers to this week’s challenge. Or take a picture of your journal or a piece of art you created and share this on Twitter or Instagram. Remember to use the hashtag #perfectionistproblems.