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 Molly Ho from wholeheartedwoman.org ‘s perfectionist story. Over to you Molly!
In what way does perfectionism show up in your life?
I think when I’m trying to be perfect, it’s really fear of not being “good enough” and this part of me that’s seeking outside validation and approval from others.
I remember a few years ago when I was looking at job interview tips and one of them was using the “my biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist because…” and it makes me wonder when people say they’re a perfectionist.
For me, I find it to be resistance and fear which often leads to procrastination and putting things off to the last minute.
Why do you think perfectionism is such a dream killer?
Some people never start on their dreams, because they want it to be “perfect” and it’s really such a shame, because they’re hiding a part of themselves. They think they need to lose the weight or have the money or status or whatever it is they think they need to start. And I get it, because I’ve been there.
Growing up, I always thought I had to lose weight before I started on anything. And I’ve given up on so, so many things in my life before (and that links back to my fear of “What if other people see how 'fat' I am?”).
As a child and in my preteens, a lot of people made assumptions about me before even getting to know me and that’s another way perfectionism has shown up in my life.
I really resonated with what Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book, Big Magic:
“You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.)”
How does perfectionism affect your soul and success, both in work and life?
Like I said earlier, perfectionism (well me, I was the one ultimately responsible) has held me back from wanting success, because for me, perfectionism is a disguise of fear.
So once I started letting go of perfectionism and embracing just being me (not even imperfectionism), I started feeling more... free. Calm, grounded, collected, y’know. :)
What does embracing imperfection mean to you?
Showing up as you are, before you’re ready.
It’s about embracing the messy parts of life. It’s about having difficult and honest conversations. It’s about being yourself, unedited.
What’s the single most important thing about perfectionism that’s holding you back?
Hmmmm, I’m not too psyched to admit this, but I think there’s still a part of me that’s afraid of being rejected.
Tips and tricks about dealing with perfectionism? Share them!
Honestly, I think there’s a moment in all our lives when we realize that perfectionism isn’t so great. It doesn’t help you.
In fact, it’s bought a lot of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm into my life. Stop trying to be perfect, because it’s hurting you in more ways than one.
Share a favorite quote or mantra that you use to remind yourself that who you are and what you do is good enough?
“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.” - Milton Berle Read
And as my coach says, don’t count yourself out.
WHO IS THIS PERFECTLY IMPERFECT, SOUL-CONNECTED CREATIVE?
Molly is a 24 year-old blogger sharing her stories and experiences over at Wholehearted Woman, about living, struggle, fear, courage, showing up, unconditional love, mental health, community, personal growth, and mindset. She’s also probably eaten over 100 slices of pizza this year, so there’s that. ;)
Wendy, again! Phew, that was SO powerful! Thank you, Molly, for sharing your story so courageously. Make sure to show Molly some love in any of the places linked above.
Are you inspired by Molly's story and ready to let go of your perfectionism? Make sure to download my FREE perfectionism-busting workbook. Just click the button below!