“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
Are you struggling with perfectionism? Do you find yourself erasing and replacing the same comma over and over? Are you constantly resizing images so they’re just right and agonizing over each product description because it’s just not there yet? Friend, I’ve been there! Let me tell you a story…
When I was in high school, my art teacher Ms. D’Angelo, the long-haired hippie with a kind smile, told my mother that *I* was my worst critic. If I could just take the feedback, integrate it, and move on, my work would speak for itself. We were drawing hands, and I could never quite get the fingers right. My drawings looked more like flames with pointed tops. They looked nothing like fingers, and no matter how much you sat with me and guided my hand, it felt like my work never improved. It wasn’t like I had never seen a hand or didn’t understand how hands worked. I was a decent artist and knew about strokes and shading, but despite hands being everywhere, I couldn’t get out of my own head that my hand drawings did not look like hands.
If you’re anything like me, you can imagine my frustration. Package that with teen angst, and, well, now I’m an art school drop out.
I was nearly 30 before I picked up a sketch book again. I had to let my hands find their voice again. It was scary but fun. Like riding a bike, muscle memory kicked in, and my sketch pad greeted me like an old friend. I still couldn’t draw hands, but I found myself drawing them anyway. Without a class grade riding on my work and no one to impress, I let myself make mistakes with my hand drawings. I wasn’t trying to draw the best hand and receive accolades from teachers. I just wanted to drew hands.
Now before you start to judge my seeming hand fetish, I drew other things, too. Then I let myself paint and write poetry again. I found that with no one to turn my work in to, I could allow myself to have fun. My art and anything else I created was for me. If others liked it, that’s wonderful, but if they didn’t, that was okay, too.
I started to imagine what if I let this kind of abashed freedom apply to other areas of my life as well? Could I give myself a chance at being a freelancer? I remembered that when I was in school and would show my art to others, they loved it. Would the same be true if I decided to offer my services? I had no way of knowing unless I let myself try. Turns out, Ms. D’Angelo was right. My work spoke for itself.
Perfection is the enemy of completion. Trying to ensure each word of your copy is optimized for search engines and that your landing page has the exact right formatting to entice customers means that no one will read your copy and your website will remain unpublished. If you spend all your time making things perfect, you never get to put your work out there!
Some of the best authors shopped around unfinished drafts and your favorite influencer had to make their first post before ever hitting 1 million followers. The concept of perfection is a myth. Nothing can be truly perfect, only get better with time.
I wish I had a picture of the first hand I drew. Imagine a poorly drawn pot leaf or a ball with protruding knives. It was objectively bad. I do have a picture of a hand I drew recently. My proportions are still off and I can’t quite figure out the joint placement. I’m going to share it with you anyway. It’s not perfect, but I got bigger fish to fry, so it’ll do!
Start Your Journey Today
What are you holding back from the world because you don’t think it’s perfect just yet? Challenge yourself to set a deadline. When I first started my freelancing career, I gave myself a two week window to get my affairs in order. I quickly got a website together, made some content, and started showcasing my work. It’s not perfect, but I go in each day making it better. A body of work needs to be built, and to be built, you need time. As cliché as this will sound, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t win if you don’t start.
So what’s stopping you? Give yourself a week or two, then just put yourself out there! You likely won’t have every detail fine tuned for perfection, but there’s no better place to start than the beginning.
If you’re ready to finally let go of perfection and get your brand off the ground, now’s the time! I offer a variety of services in brand strategy and would love to hear from you. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Connect with India page!