I have recently felt an internal shift from all-out perfectionism to just trying for my best. “Doing” used to essentially be how I valued myself. I was a human doing. And there was never enough doing I could do to fulfill the undefined expectations I had about being done. Fear and perfection were my guidelines for living. Industrial Over-focused was my coping mechanism for the fear.

I was a human doing.

Perfectionism or doing your best on Shalavee.com

As I peeled back layer upon layer, I ousted the lies that were my fears and began to understand that in the grander scheme of things, sometimes just doing something, anything, could thwart the desperate feelings of perfection and fear. I noticed that if I made one effortful action toward my goals, it was a huge hopeful relief. Like taking that first half-hour walk to start an exercise routine. Or starting an art project. Or calling someone I’d put off calling. The effort felt like hope.

Perfectionism is insidious. The bar will continually raise and there will never be enough doing. If the goals are undefined, the results are never enough. Add on the doubt that your best will never be good enough and you’re not only a hamster on a wheel, but you are sinking in quicksand at the same time.

Perfectionism or doing your best on Shalavee.com

But what if we were to have a little faith in our efforts. No, my abilities may never match others in gardening or graphic design. Ever. But what if I did my best and let go of the rest including the perfection. What I realized is that I can applaud myself for making an effort and usually people see that effort and not as much the results. It’s a faith gesture but it’s also permission to be kind to yourself. To credit yourself with the intention to get better. Because you won’t become better, or even the best, unless you keep doing that thing over and over and over.

I have let the medium be my message and made sure I went forth with a simple vision in mind. Sometimes the effort of hanging a few decorations in the right scale makes a huge impact. Sometimes posting a few powerful words says way more than pages and pages that won’t be read. And sometimes giving ourselves the space and the credit to begin can move us on in profound ways. I am proof that progress is there but for the effort.

And that perfectionism is a crappy cowardly roadblock to a more beautiful and easier way of living. We just need to get out of our own ways and onto proving it.

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