It's been a long time since I did an “Ask Rachel” post, so coming at you with one that I think a lot of us have struggled with at some point in our life:
I just want to know how you stayed motivated in your first year of blogging and got over perfectionism and fear? I am currently struggling with all of that and it's keeping me from actually doing my dreams.The months keep passing by and I still haven't been motivated enough.
I want to note that my response to this question is going to be broader than just blogging. If you want more specific blogging related feedback, stay tuned to the bottom of the post for suggested reading.
But, today I want to talk about overcoming fear and perfectionism on a broader scale. I want to touch on some of the truths about fear and perfectionism in our twenties and hopefully get you thinking of ways to reframe them so you can overcome them forever.
I think perfectionism and fear are things that hold us all back in our careers and passions; whether that's blogging, being a therapist, engineer, musician, whatever! As millennials, most of us were told that we are special and can do anything we set our minds to growing up. But the reality we all know: we can't all be special and all of our dreams can't come true — enter fear and the need to be perfect. *Queue panic attack*
So let's start with fear:
When we look at little kids they are fearless. They know exactly what they want and usually will say it. I think back to my younger self and I knew I wanted to write. I spent all of my time writing. Until my biological father told me “left handed people are stupid in my country” and made me re-write everything with my right hand. Can you guess what that led to? A fear of writing! Which grew into a hatred of anything related to english and writing.
Most of our fears are rooted in some sort of negative feedback we received from others, ourselves, or the world. At some point, something told us that we needed to fear this thing for self preservation. Which leads me back to that little acronym I just wrote: it's false evidence appearing real. Usually — I mean a healthy does of fear when it comes to putting your hand on a stove is probably a reality. But when it comes to our careers and passions and relationships, the acronym holds true 99.99999% of the time.
How do I overcome the fear?
Look at what caused it in the first place.
Usually, it's someone else's baggage that projected onto us. At some point most of us will internalize that other persons baggage as our own truth. How sad is that? IMO, Our twenties are about unlearning all the B.S. that people told us we “should” believe or feel, and get to know ourselves.
I ask myself, “What's the worst that can happen?”
Usually the worst that can happen isn't that scary.
People won't like it? They'll quickly forget about it and move on.
My feelings get hurt? Well emotions are like waves in the ocean. They come and go. Each one with a peak, and crash, leaving you with peace in between the sets. They aren't permanent or ever lasting, just temporary blips in a pretty big sea.
I fail. Which would be the most beautiful gift of all. You see when we fail, we have these beautiful opportunities to grow and connect. It's only through those moments of failing, that we have the choice to fail forward. To grow in strength and character. That's the gift. Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey, and that journey will consist of countless “failures,” bumps, scrapes, and bruises.Life isn't about the destination, it's about the journey.Click To Tweet
Which leads me to perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a funny thing. Logically we all know it unattainable. Yet, so many of us feel this need to strive for it, but why? Imagine for a moment that you actually were perfect. What would that look like? Feel like? What relationships would you have in your life? I mean really think about that. Because the reality is, perfectionism isn't relatable, it's isolating.Perfectionism isn't relatable, it's isolating. Click To Tweet
Life is beautiful because we make mistakes, and connect with others through our vulnerabilities and we can only do that when we are humble and honest with ourselves. If we try to zip it all in under the facade of perfectionism, that's lonely AF. Don't strive for perfectionism, strive for greatness. Strive to impact others in a positive way. If you use that as your compass instead of perfectionism, you're going to be alright.
Originally published on 10/09/17