How working too hard may be sabotaging your efforts

I realized that I was just wasting time.

One evening, almost midnight, I was fussing over whether the text on my business card should be dark purple or black. I kept switching the text colors.

Dark purple.


Dark purple.


And then fussing over which photo to use for the back…the one where I’m facing the camera or where I’m turned to the side.

I kept this up for God knows how long. And when I looked at the time, I let out a sigh, frustrated with myself that I hadn’t accomplished everything that I had wanted to that evening.

Lack of discipline? Sort of. The real culprit was perfectionism…trying to get it all right, all neat and tidy, before stepping out into world.

That evening I took a step back and realized that that was exactly what I was doing.

I was spending too much time “getting ready:” instead of just making a decision and going out there doing what I love.

I was, in effect, stalling. And I was trying to “get it all perfect” because, well, I didn’t want to “get it wrong.” Getting it “wrong” meant risking turning off a potential client, which meant losing potential business, which meant failing at my venture, and of course failing on my dreams. Right?

How did I make not choosing the right text color about failing on my dreams??

This is where perfectionism can run away with us and hold us back from moving forward on what we really want to do. We fuss over the details that, at the end of the day, don’t really matter. And we start to draw conclusions that, when reviewed at a distance, are totally irrational.

The thing is, turning off a client because they didn’t like the color I chose for the text on my business card might actually happen. Losing business as a result of that choice might actually happen.

Making myself a total failure as a result of that loss? Well that’s a perception.

We can’t prevent failure. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re probably going to bomb at something really bad. But trying to get it all perfect so that we don’t fail is actually setting oneself up for certain failure because all the time you’re “getting ready” and sweating the “small stuff” is time that you’re not giving yourself for the opportunity to win.

Getting out there is the only way to make it. So what if it is not perfect; agonizing over the words, color, spacing is small stuff.

Ask yourself, what are you REALLY worried about?

What is the real hold up here; is the color of the text or is it something else?

What happens when you shift your focus to just doing what you love instead of “attempting” to do what you love or continually “getting ready” to do what you love?

For the writers out there…what happens when you just write, instead of trying to come up with the perfect phrase to precisely articulate what you want to say?

What you want to say will come; you just have to let it come.

Just jump in the water and allow yourself to flow where you heart wants to flow.

And see what magic happens.

Have you ever been stuck in perfectionism? What happens when you shift your focus to expressing your art? I welcome your thoughts below!

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