5 Steps To Overcome Perfectionism As A Creator
Perfectionism is public enemy #1 for creators…
I used to hate posting because I wanted my content to be perfect. Now I realise why. It came from a fear of being seen as inferior.
For months, I wouldn't dare post on YouTube, for fear of being ridiculed or rejected- what if people I know found the videos?
I didn't want to be judged or receive criticism since it would feel bad.
The root of perfectionism is insecurity- secure people don't care about being perfect.
They're just happy being who they are, and doing what they can. It's enough to just put in 100% effort, without needing to "win" or be seen as perfect by others.
Perfectionism blocks your creative juices and paralyses you into a perpetual state of "almost finished."
It'll cause inaction and writer's block made of titanium that you just can't seem to make a dent in.
Nonexistent content can't perform well- if you don't produce content, you won't get anywhere.
"Perfection is the lowest standard you can set for yourself."
- Tony Robbins
Perfectionism comes from these three things:
1. Comparisonitis
I used to compare myself to everyone else further ahead of me. It was soul-crushing.
Why was I so unhappy?
Because of envy.
Envy is the root of all suffering.
Nothing is perfect when compared to something else- the only real kind of perfection exists in just being, without needing to compare yourself.
Everything is unique, and perfect in its own imperfect way.
Comparing yourself to others creates misery, and disempowers you.
It isn't fair to compare yourself to others- they're in a different position, body and stage of life to you.
"Don't compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday."
- Jordan Peterson
That's not all:
2. Fear of Judgement/Failure
Perfectionism is rooted in fear.
Fear isn't a sign you're in the wrong place, it's actually a sign you're on the right path to growth.
Fear was designed to keep us alive, but now it's there to keep us stuck in mediocrity.
Listen to your fear, but don't obey it like a coward.
Your fear might tell you to judge yourself because you fear that others might judge you- you beat them to it so you don't have to "suffer" their wrath.
Maybe you were bullied, or you got ridiculed one time as a kid. That shit scars you for life.
Now maybe it's the reason you can't let go of that desire for perfection, because the only way to guarantee people like you is to be perfect- am I right?
I used to judge myself all the time, because I didn't love myself.
Judging yourself too harshly creates unrealistic expectations and negative energy.
That restricts your motivation and creativity.
It's hard to find the courage to write when you're terrified of somebody saying that your content sucks…
Fear drives stupidity, and the stupidest thing is never trying because you fear failing.
If you don't try, how the bloody hell will you ever succeed?
3. Scarcity Mindset
Perfectionism can come from your mindset- focusing on what you lack creates a desire to try and make up for it by being perfect.
Abundance comes not from having money or validation, but by accepting that you are already enough, with or without those things.
Don't place your self-worth into things you can't control.
If you can't control it, you must accept it.
We can't control the past, or how many likes our content gets.
But that's okay.
I learned that putting my self-worth into what I do, instead of what I get, is infinitely more rewarding.
Scarcity is a way of thinking- if you want to defeat it you need to change your mindset.
Perfectionism = Misery
Perfectionism causes procrastination and misery, not to mention terrible writing abilities.
No piece of work can ever be perfect, no matter how hard you try.
It's always a process of constant learning and iteration to improve.
Stop seeing success as black and white.
It's all about how you see it…
It's alright, you don't need everyone to love you.
You're already perfect just how you are.
Perfectionism is compensation for a deeper feeling of inferiority.
We seek to prove to ourselves that we are good enough.
But we always were.
My friend, perfectionism is the root of procrastination, self-hatred and burnout.
If you don't find a way to deal with it, you won't ever get rid of it.
Here are 5 simple steps to overcome it:
Most people aren't even conscious of their perfectionistic tendencies.
The first step to solving ANY problem is awareness.
If you don't know what the problem is, how can you solve it?
Become aware of your current tendencies.
Do you procrastinate?
Do you keep the promises you make to yourself?
What excuses are you making in your life?
There are several ways to improve self-awareness, but the simplest ways revolve around reflection and mindfulness/dopamine detox.
It's either about clearing your mind, or searching it.
The clearer you can think the easier it is to find the answers.
If you blast your brain with dopamine all day, then finding clarity in there is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
If you want to have the best chance of finding the root cause of your perfectionism, you must avoid excessive social media content or other cheap dopamine stimuli.
Don't be a dopamine monkey…
The Common Dopamine Monkey (Author Created Meme)Dopamine monkeys can't think straight- cleanse your mind.
Once you can think clearly, you need to reflect to create more self-awareness.
Self-awareness can be cultivated by:
  • Meditation  
  • Daily Journaling  
  • Weekly Reviews  
Meditation allows you to remove distractions so you can introspect deeper.
Once you're in a meditative state, journal to bring out your subconscious.
Write about why you're stuck, not doing the work, or feeling the need to be perfect.
Keep asking "why" until you get to the bottom of it.
Each week, review your progress.
How much work did you do?
How many times did you let perfectionism stop you from posting or creating content?
What could be improved?
Once you become aware of your emotions, thoughts and the beliefs or interpretations causing them, you must accept them.
I lived in denial for years, and it got me nowhere. No money, no friends and no self-respect.
If you can't accept that your reality needs changing, then you'll only stay stuck in the same patterns for the rest of your life.
"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are."
― J.P. Morgan
Pain creates progress- if you avoid the pain all your life, you also avoid all the progress.
Fundamentally, change only happens when you're dissatisfied with your current situation.
It can be useful to be dissatisfied- it forces you to improve your life. The discomfort/pain of staying the same is too great.
That means that you have to accept that it's going to hurt.
To get where you want to go, you need to accept where you are right now…
Taking responsibility is the key to getting shit done.
My life only started changing for the better when I took responsibility for everything in my life.
It doesn't matter if it isn't your fault, because it's always your responsibility.
It's your life!
Your mind will play tricks on you, tell you it's not up to you, get you to blame everything but yourself…
But it's trying to keep you trapped.
Don't listen to it; your subconscious is just trying to avoid the pain you feel when you face the truth. It isn't malicious- it's just afraid of feeling bad.
If you give your subconscious acceptance, love and patience, then it will allow you to push further and undo the damage that societal conditioning and trauma have done to your mind.
Adopt the mindset that "done is better than perfect".
Progress only comes from embracing failure and mistakes- that's how you learn!
Commit to this next step:
Massive action is the antidote to perfectionism.
I overdose on that antidote daily- it tastes fucking good!
In fact, action will solve almost all your problems, period.
"Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction."
- Harry S. Truman
The main reason most people never get to this step is because of the suffering it incurs.
The price of peace is pain, and it's one too heavy for most people to pay.
I used to cling to comfort like a newborn baby clings to its mother, helpless and weak.
Confusing comfort with happiness is a grave mistake. Comfort is hollow and meaningless. Happiness is filled with substance.
"If you aren't willing to sacrifice for your goals, then the goals become the sacrifice"
- Brandon Carter
Happiness is just the absence of desire- peace.
True peace comes from suffering for a worthy cause.
Nothing worth doing is ever easy- it's meant to be hard.
Once you're taking massive action, you just need to follow a simple framework to win.
The "Act, Assess, Adjust" framework allows you to consistently improve without worrying about results.
As per Step Four, taking massive action. Just make sure it's with the right intention.
Purpose creates the right intentions. Helping others and having an impact should be your goal, not just acquiring money.
People pay according to the perceived value you and your product has.
The best way to increase that is to expand your impact and develop some wicked case studies!
The more goodwill you generate by helping people, the more your reputation will build.
Your reputation will determine your status, income and ability to influence others to get what you want.
The only way to improve a product, a skill or a part of yourself is to identify the constraint holding it back.
This comes from conscious analysis to review the feedback you have gotten from doing the "Act" part.
The feedback can be qualitative (customer forms/reviews) or quantitative (conversion/CRM metrics) but either way it should tell you something about the effectiveness of your strategies, tactics and methods.
Once you have feedback, the most important thing to do is sort it in a way that makes sense.
Unsorted feedback is data, which is almost useless.
Sorted data becomes information; analysed information becomes knowledge.
From knowledge, you can spot insights that will give you indicators on how to do the next step- adjust your actions to improve.
Knowing what insights are relevant and actionable is a product of wisdom, which is only gained from experience and pain.
This final step is important if you want to avoid staying stuck. Once you take action and get the feedback, you actually need to implement the insights you've gathered to change your mental models.
Our mental models are the internal lenses through which we perceive, understand, and navigate the world.
They are simplified representations of complex concepts, systems, or relationships that our minds build to make sense of reality.
These mental frameworks influence everything from how we interpret information to the decisions we make and the actions we take.
If you can examine your own mental models, you are able to:
  • Challenge assumptions: Identify and examine biases in your decision-making. 
  • Improve problem-solving: Approach challenges from multiple perspectives.  
  • Accelerate learning: Mental models provide frameworks for understanding new concepts quickly and effectively.  
Mental Model analysis is a complicated subject- the main goal is always to stay a lifelong student and learn something insightful every day.
As long as you find the feedback, use it to improve, and then repeat, you can't go wrong.
The path to letting go of perfectionism is a hard one, but it will give you absolute peace and prosperity.
We all have flaws, but perfection comes from realising the beauty in them.
"This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfection."
- Saint Augustine
Kick Perfectionism In The Ass
So, now you know how to kick perfectionism's ass.
Perfect is overrated- growth is the real golden goose.
If you just get 1% better every day, then you'll achieve more than any perfectionist.
Every moment that you're devoted to your purpose IS perfection.
It never gets any better than that.
Never forget to enjoy the journey you're on.
Happiness can only ever be achieved in the present moment, not tomorrow, or next year.
Thanks for reading!
You're one step closer to a Mega Mindset.
1 comment
Zac Solipsism
5 Steps To Overcome Perfectionism As A Creator
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