Last Friday, I announced that my new YouTube channel would launch over the weekend. On Sunday, to be specific. Which was yesterday, to be even more specific. But Sunday, August 5 (because it’s important to focus on the minute details when you’re avoiding something) came and went without much excitement or videos added to my YouTube channel. Why? Because, I was too paralyzed by perfectionism.
Perfectionism is why, after hours of recording and video content and spending hundreds of dollars on fancier than necessary equipment, I’ve been unable to share or even enjoy the fruits of my labor. It’s why I spent three weeks re-recording and editing video, even though the first video gained overwhelmingly positive reception from my family and friends, who I trusted to give me their honest feedback, to get it just right. But it’s never just right when it comes to perfection. It’s never right at all.
While most people proudly boast of being perfectionists, it is my secret shame. Sure, perfectionism has served me well in the course of my life. I pride myself on being organized and detail oriented. It has certainly helped me to curry favor with classmates and colleagues at work. Everyone gets to reap the benefits of having a skilled task manager on the team. But where is everyone when the task manager is stuck typing the same sentence over and over again until it’s “perfect”? Or when the task manager’s perfectionism has led to procrastination and very soon, an anxiety episode?
People would be horrified to hear how my hypercritical and unreasonable self-talk keeps me small and apologetic of the simplest actions. And don’t let me try and make a mistake or, what I think is a mistake. That’s the reason why three complete videos later, I still haven’t shared one. In fact, had Avon not grabbed the computer away from me, I might’ve deleted them. Because there’s no second chance with perfectionism. It’s one better be amazing feat, then done.
I’m sick of the hold perfectionism has on me. I’m glad I started therapy this summer and can work with a professional to break these ties for good.
Are you a perfectionist? How do you deal with it?