The Pressures Of Being A Perfectionist

The Pressures Of Being A Perfectionist

Perfectionist isn’t a term I’m used to using when I describe myself. I’d always associated it with people who were good at fiddly things or someone who had the patience to create something impressive. But as time goes on I realise that I’m more of a perfectionist than I think. And actually there are a lot of people around me who are exactly the same. They have a particular style or standard that they want to meet in everything they do. But the pressure we put on ourselves to live up to our own expectations is huge. It’s a constant battle between getting things just right and meeting life’s deadlines.

Blogging is my downfall when it comes to dealing with the pressure of being a perfectionist. I put a lot of time, thought and effort in to a post but if it doesn’t come together in the way that I imagined then I won’t publish it. That could be two days worth of work that will stay in my drafts, never to be read by anyone. I don’t want to push out posts that I am not happy with just for the sake of it.

I think most bloggers feel like their content needs to be at its very best because the standard of the industry improves so rapidly. It’s not necessarily about comparing your work to others, it’s motivation to do better. Having said this, it’s really important to remember that when you stare at something for too long it starts too look wrong! Taking a step back can really clear your mind. Sometimes I need to stop looking at a post I’ve written that I’m not happy with. Then when I revisit it a couple of days later I can see immediately what I need to improve instead of scrapping the whole thing out of frustration.

On the rare occasion that I look back through past posts on my blog and take the time to read them I’m nearly always astounded, like, “did I really write this?! It’s better than I remember”. I don’t know why it surprises me, I mean I did create it myself yet it seems like I’m reading someone else’s work. It’s almost as if I’ve forgotten that I wrote it. Granted my posts usually stem from an infrequent bout of insomnia so I might not fully remember what I’ve written at silly o’clock! But it’s the stress I create for myself when I write a post that makes me want to move on and not think about it once it’s published. That’s not a very enjoyable or healthy way to work. I’m sure there are a lot of us who go through most days feeling the same way. 

So now I’ve been making a conscious effort to alleviate some of the pressure I put on myself, at least in this aspect of my life. At the beginning of the year I made a commitment to myself that I would publish a post every Monday. But we’re halfway through January and I’ve already broken that commitment! Usually this would have stressed me out but with my new mindset I’m not going to worry about it. I’m just going to make sure that I am 100% happy with what I post because that’s my happy medium.

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  1. Good job getting it out there. The worst thing to do is stress out that you slipped up at meeting your initial goal, because for some people it’d throw them off completely and make them think ‘well if I can’t even stick to it now then why bother’.

    Like your idea of coming back to a piece of work a few days later. A good book called ‘how to be f***in awesome’ talks about, in not so many words, how perfectionism is good but productivity and discipline were what what helped the get the author so much further in where he wanted to be.

    Well done again.

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