Why perfection is the killer of progress and creativity.
PERFECT IS NOT REAL.
We have all been there. We don't want to show or share something we have created until its 'perfect' or we believe because our lives don't match up to the 'perfect' lives of the instagrammers or social media giants that its not good enough.
Perfection is a killer and its about time it was stopped in it's tracks.
Its a belief system that is just not real and the damage its causing is huge.
For years I compared myself, criticised myself relentlessly and gave myself unrealistic expectations because of what I was consuming.
Social media, advertising, magazines.... The false image of perfection is everywhere humming in the background like an annoying fly.
'If you have this your life will be perfect'
'If you look like this you will be perfect'
'Because your life isn't an Instagram photo with 1000s of likes you are less than perfect'
I am here to tell you right now its bullshit. All of it.
And there is no such thing. We need to stop procrastinating over getting something out there and showing up as ourselves because we have been conditioned to believe its less than.
Especially in business and innovation, especially women who want to create businesses and be innovators, influencers and creators.
Did you know that when looking for a job statistically most women won't apply unless they are 100% qualified, unless they are 'perfect' for the role. You can learn more about that in this Ted Talk by Reshma Saujani which is one of my favourite Ted Talks as it states we should be replacing 'perfect' with BRAVE.
Only the brave will succeed because they are the ones who TRY despite the fears.
You are you, wonderful you and that is enough. You will never get better or create anything unless you try. Absolutely nothing is perfect at the first attempt.
One example of this in my life is my riding and work with horses. Now I am not a natural horse rider but I love it deeply. And I have days where I tear myself apart for my legs not being in the right place, my right elbow not staying where it should be or the fact I really struggle to get my shoulders back far enough. And sometimes I look at other riders and see them with perfect seats and hands that never move and I say to myself 'what's the point? I will never be as good as that' and I forget the reason, the why behind wanting to work with a horse in the first place..... it brings me joy. So much bloody joy.
Its the same with photography, my body, business. If I allow myself to look at where I am at and then compare it to others the little voice makes an appearance and tells me I am not good enough. 'look they are perfect you are not so don't bother.'
And that has to stop. I know I am not the only one. I also know that all those people who seem so far ahead had to start somewhere. They had to begin and they had to try. They had to be brave.
So now I don't compare, I don't tear myself apart because it wasn't right the first time and I don't hold back from creating and sharing because its not perfect.
The only way to improve, grow and have any sort of positive impact on myself is to try. To congratulate myself on the small wins, to revel in the joy of doing what I love despite the flaws.
Because you know those flaws are mine, they are what makes me unique. They are what makes my journey and growth mine and mine alone. I would even go as far to say that one day those flaws will become my strengths.
And all of that is true for you too. Do not allow yourself to not try because I tell you now the first attempt will be messy, it won't look like how you imagined it, the results won't be instant, you may fail.
Another example in my business is using Facebook live. Now we have all seen the huge impact this has had on some businesses. How much fun it is to be able interact with your audience in such a personal way. Facebook live scares the shit out of me. Why? Because its my face, the face I spent years tearing apart because I hate my teeth, I do this funny eye rolling thing oh and I say 'ummmm' or 'yes but no but' I am not perfect at it not like my mentors, not like the people I look up to. And the worst bit my first few times not a single person watched it. I was brave and no one paid any attention my worst fears confirmed.
But guess what? That was the exact same for every single person who is making a success of it now. And did they stop because the first few attempts weren't perfect? Or because no one noticed? No they didn't. They kept showing up, they got better and with that knowledge their success is no longer another message of you not being good enough but a motivation to be brave and keep trying.
So I will leave you with somethings to remember and to help you keep striving for what you want to achieve....
- Don't compare yourself to others. They are on a different journey to you and their success should be a motivator for you to try and put yourself out there in whatever venture or goal you set out to achieve. All those visions of 'perfect' put out on social media had a beginning and a messy middle where that person or business made a brave decision to go after what they wanted.
- You are enough. Such a simple message but you need to hear it. All you need to do is close the gap once you know what you want. So many people don't even bother to try because they don't believe they are enough.
- Try and try again. Yep the first attempt won't be perfect. Yep you may very well fall flat on your face. Yep it will be scary. But you must try.
- Be kind to yourself. Celebrate the small wins, don't beat yourself up when you have an off day or something doesn't go the way you thought it would. The fact you put yourself out there and did something despite the voice that told you not to bother is HUGE that sets you apart already. There are millions of people out there who want something different for themselves but are not even daring to take the first step. So give yourself a big pat on the back.
- Be grateful. I start everyday and finish everyday with gratitude. Sometimes its a huge thing that has changed everything for the better sometimes its simply knowing I am alive, well and live in time where I can create my own life.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING, YOUR SUPPORT MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME.
My name is Ami and I am a personal brand photographer in London. I help women in business particularly creative ones show off their best selves to their audience through beautiful imagery.
I love to tell the stories of amazing women who are going out there and creating the life they want for themselves.
By getting to know you and what you do I can help you connect with your past, present and future clients with images that showcase your talents and authentic self.
If you would like to work with me to tell your story just click on the button.