My Perfectionism Strikes Again


The trap of perfectionism strikes again. My high ambition and lofty goals met my schedule, and it didn’t go well. With all the plans to launch a five-day faith-based goal planning series at the end of November, life happened, and it didn’t work out.

Now almost a month later, I’m still trying to figure out where to go from here.

Not doing what I committed has taken quite a blow to my ego. Even if only two people signed up for the challenge, I still feel like I let the whole internet down.

Thankfully I have two dear friends who are go-getters like myself who knew exactly how to encourage me in this place.  I also think they may have been the only people who signed up for the series.

We’ve been connecting up in regards to our goals for two years now, and it's evolved into Marco Polo chats throughout the month. I cherish their insight and wisdom in regards to business and the fact I know I will always be pointed back to Jesus.

I shared with them how I felt like such a failure, and they knew exactly the words to share to encourage me.

In fact, they were navigating the dissolving of a business they started together and were walking through similar feelings just on a larger scale.

We discussed how as women we aren’t encouraged to take risks and fail.

That we don’t really know how to navigate these feelings well.

As a society, we encourage men to do this, but I’m not sure if it’s societal pressure or internal shame, but for most women, we feel our only option is to play it safe.

It helped me to see that while humility and self-awareness are essential for both genders, taking a risk and being okay when it doesn't go as planned is both healthy and good. 

And while it may seem like I can say that in confidence now, it isn’t something that comes naturally to me.

While I do oddly enjoy taking risks, I almost always put the expectation of perfection on myself which means I walk a hard road when I fail.

Put me in a stressful situation, and I’m calm and collected, able to sort through things with a clear mind. It’s why I love wedding photography and pushing myself to new heights even if anxiety and fear are along for the ride kicking and screaming. 

The logical side of me knows how to encourage myself before I take the risk to say it is worth it even when it’s awkward or painful. However, on the other side, when I fall short, I lose all logic and hope. 

On the other side of failure, I've worked through those low places and feel restored and ready to take my next right step.

I’m now able to see that if God called me to it, there is a plan and purpose.

Which can even include failing.

That I shouldn't instantly go to the place of devastation, wrecked because I put my identity in doing things perfectly. But instead, as an opportunity to let God show me what’s at play and be open to hearing what he’d like me to do differently.

The thing is, I’ve been micro-blogging on IG for a year, with very few blog posts. I haven’t been consistent with them, so I can’t expect myself to be consistent out of nowhere and put that kind of pressure on myself.

One thing that took this even further was an interview I watched with Seth Godin. He talked about the difference between creating a masterpiece and creating every day. He explained when we strive for perfection, we can rarely create.

We set ourselves up for failure the second we create the image of perfection and then tell ourselves to achieve that first. 

The desire for perfection sets the goal so far out our of reach it's like climbing Mount Everest to accomplish what we desire.

While I don’t think having a desire to create excellence is a bad thing. It’s redefining the steps necessary to get there.

So instead of having the expectation the create all the perfect resources for planning, living and documenting life, I'm going to simply create something every day. Even if it’s just a small paragraph. 

The good, the bad and the ugly. 

That in my every day creating, I’ll end up with words that are better left behind closed doors, but I’ll also create more masterpieces than if I had set out for perfection in the first place.

So that’s what I see for my next steps. 

Do I have a big vision of a goal planning course and resources! You betcha! So many amazing ideas. But I need to create on a consistent basis before I have what I need to present this topic. Before I'll have anything resembling this perfect product I envision in my head.

So I hope you’d still join me!

And I hope you can forgive me if you signed up for the faith-based goal-planning series! I do still hope to create content in regards to that topic, so you're still in the right place. It's just going to look different, and I'm not sure what it will exactly look like just yet.

I’ll most likely end up dropping the ball a few more times going forward. In fact, I'd guarantee it. So if you have an expectation for perfection, you won’t find it here.

In this season I just need to get words on my blog. I'm not terribly gifted with words or grammar so the energy it takes to write, and edit is a lot.

I know that the more I can get posts up, the more I'll be able to grow in these areas. And it's been my perfection and fear of judgment that's stood in the way of me actually doing that.

So if you’re someone who's still willing to join me for the good, bad and in-between, thank you! I am so thankful you would take the time to read my words and join me in this place.

My prayer is that I can be a faithful steward with what I create to help encourage you in this place. But without the perfection and pressure so that one day I can look back and see the path it took to get to the grand vision he has placed on my heart.

Jena StagnerComment