It's the end of the day, have you wasted your time? Your money? Your energy? All to be perfect?
It has been reported that most episodic things people start up won't make it past number seven. After that it becomes boring, repetitive, no one's paying attention, the numbers aren't adding up, the time isn't worth it....the list goes on and on.
So here we are, this is my seventh installment of "The Chick Flick" and so far it's been really fun to write, read, embody and embrace. Then it hit me this week, I need something to write about. Queue the panic, the anxiety, the scary concept of "it has to be perfect otherwise they're going to stop reading!"
I was sitting here looking at my camera and thinking "I need to replace my batteries, they're getting old." and then it hit me, "I'm getting old. I don't feel old. I'm 36 physically, 18 mentally..."
Everything has a shelf life. No matter how much you recharge something, it dies.
Then I got real deep and I thought about Marcus Aurelius, "Momento Mori", "Remember that you will die."
Now, this might be drastic, and it certainly is a drastic take to go from batteries dying to myself dying and ultimately opening a blog post with this kind of sentiment. But I was stuck in a mindset of trying to make something last that didn't need to last at the moment. I was trying so hard to make something that really did have a shelf life extend farther than it really needed to. I realized I've been applying this to life in general. I have control issues, letting go has always been difficult for me. I used to be the person that had to have the last word, as if somehow my words had weight. They did if I was on Jupiter's gravity I suppose, but here on Earth they were as weightless as being in space. I've been doing it to relationships, both personal and work for a long time. I realized I've been using my high-standards against myself and allowing it to rule the roost, and rather than embrace it. I continue to tear it down because it's easier to tear down the wall than it is to build and scale it and work with, be friends with people who have standards similar to yours. However, for every wall you tear down you leave a pile of bricks that looks daunting, scary and unmovable, and then ultimately you rebuild, one brick at at time....every time. And it takes a lot of time. Much more time than if you had just allowed yourself to carry on and know that in the end the little thing that's bugging you right now won't be an issue.
I've had a few ideas over the past few weeks, but many of them coalesce into the same post, and lately I haven't had time to think except for the projects I've been working on. Which is a good thing! It means that I'm doing something right -- OK ok...hold on, I'm going off script here, interestingly I just typed "something WRONG" when I meant to type "something RIGHT" - I even said it in my head the way I wanted it to read. Now you wouldn't know this unless I told you here. I find it interesting because I have direction dyslexia, that's the best way I can describe it. What I mean is, if someone asks me which way to turn or drive, or walk to I tell them turn left yet I'm pointing right....now if you want proof humans are visual creatures above all other senses (at least those of us who can see) you really need to try this on someone. I do it without thinking because in my head I am pointing the correct way, and let me tell you, it's been confusing for almost everyone who drives me somewhere -- the inevitable stare at me, "wait, wait, what way am I going??" followed by the same "Left!" as I continue to point right. Until I realize, I am pointing right. Now you know a little fact about me that I've never been able to pin down.
Getting back on script...
I was listening to this week's episode of Marie Forleo's weekly Podcast on YouTube, "Don't Overcome Your Perfectionism! Why Your High Standards Make You A Star" featuring Katherine Morgan Schafler a psychotherapist, writer and speaker speaking on perfectionism -- something I struggle with, or have until I listened to this podcast. Let me tell you it's worth a listen, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqaCLK8bvf4
The five types are as follows:
Intense perfectionist: Striving for success at all costs.
Classic perfectionist: Highly organized and buttoned-up.
Parisian perfectionist: People pleasers to the max.
Procrastinator perfectionist: Always waiting for the right time.
Messy perfectionist: Quick to start, slow to finish.
These are just constructs, not meant to be an end-all be-all kind of thing. Like anything in life you can be all of them, and chances are, you are all of them in a different capacity.
Although you might be asking yourself what does that have to with a Shelf Life? And money, and time? Because if you're anything of a normal human we spend so much money, and consequently, time to get things right (or in my case, left). Then we get people telling us "stop being a perfectionist. It'll never be perfect!" Which...yes, is true. It will only be as perfect as the creator deems it to be, while also balancing that with the end user. My terms of finished and good are much higher most times than the end user probably realizes. But that's what makes my work stand out, I believe, and not in an arrogant kind of way. Your standards are a reflection of yourself. And if you're in business your standards set your prices ultimately. Deliver a superior product, and you'll get a superior price, it's that simple. Now is my product superior? I feel that's quite arrogant to say. I've worked myself up to a point where people trust my work, thus I can charge what I charge, which honestly is still reasonably priced. I should really charge more.
What this episode gave me was simple advice that was different than the norm. It's not about not making something "perfect", it's not even about the 80/20 concept, it's about learning to recognize and embrace the type you ARE thus making you a better person overall. It'll allow you to be who you are without judgement and the need for yet more labels and medications and insurance claims, whether physical or spiritual.
This episode has given me a chance to recognize that my standards are what keeps me going, and what keeps my product "superior" if I can call it that. It allows the opportunity to work with businesses and individuals that also have standards that are level with mine or a little higher, thus forcing me to learn and educate myself on new processes, songs, ways of writing, capturing, etc. In the end, all good things that push you forward. So in the end not only is my happiness higher, my income is higher.
I can't wait to read/listen this book from Ms. Schlafer, "The Perfectionists Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power", you can order it on Amazon here or direct from Penguin Random House.
Now that I've finally hit my seventh installment of "The Chick Flick" I feel better about being able to move forward. I don't have to make everything perfect every week. None of you expect that, you just expect me to show up, right -- err... left!