One of my favourite ways to relax and decompress is to spend time in my garden. Just sitting, being, enjoying the beauty of nature.
My lawn is certainly far from perfect. In the height of summer, all kinds of little white flowers crop up. Technically, they are weeds. But as I sit and observe, I notice that these so-called weeds are a buzz with life. The bees absolutely love them. They drink from them joyfully.
I noticed, on one of my daily walks, a lady on her hands and knees picking out these flowers from her perfectly manicured lawn. The first thought that popped into my head was: “What about the bees?”
What I’m driving at here is the idea of perfection. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m without a doubt a perfectionist. I recently completed a personal development course that was all about self-awareness and identifying the belief systems and the patterns that run our lives behind the scenes. That drive our thoughts. That manifest the reality that we experience.
For me, I have equated perfection with happiness. As a child, If I was perfect, I would make my parents happy (or so I told myself). The thought of being less than perfect brings up a lot of fear and self-worth issues for me personally. Fear and issues that I have carried with me throughout my life and into my small business.
But what is perfection really? We know that no one is perfect. Yet for those of you that are with me in the perfectionist boat, you know that while we may be more forgiving of imperfection in others (or not), when it comes to ourselves, we don’t offer any leeway. Rather than engendering feelings of expansiveness and joy in creation and experimentation, we restrict our experiences and our reality with the shroud of perfection.
And as small business owners, our thoughts and beliefs directly affect how we run things, how we move forward, how we deliver, how we succeed.
Rather than opening doors, perfectionism closes them.
- Copying what others are doing, trying to find the perfect marketing formula?
- Trying to be perfect for all people, and losing your ideal audience in the process?
- Overwhelming yourself with all the tasks and deliverables that you’ve decided need to be done before your work is perfect?
- Not launching that product, website or whatever it is, because it’s not yet perfect?
- Wasting countless hours second guessing yourself and rehashing things in your quest to be perfect?
- Not taking any risks or trying anything new in your business because you’re terrified of making mistakes or screwing things up?
Can you see how perfectionism might be standing in your way? Sucking the joy out of what you are doing? Stopping you from reaching your goals?
What about the idea that everything is always perfect right now just as it is? What about if we reframe the notion of perfection to encompass the “is-ness” of the present moment? What if we accept, embrace and appreciate things (and ourselves!) just as they are, knowing that nothing is permanent and that change, growth, learning, improvement and evolution is always a choice and an ever unfolding journey?
The lessons and opportunities that will help propel us forward just might lie in what we label “imperfect.”
What about if we let the weeds grow? Maybe we’ll help to save the bees. And perhaps ourselves in the process.
Are you a perfectionist like me? How have you noticed this trait manifesting in your business? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.