Letting go of perfectionism and embracing mistakes

Hi. My name is Sarah and I am a recovering perfectionist.
Striving to always be and do your best may sound like a good thing but perfectionism is crippling and exhausting. Life’s harder when you’re pulling a ball and chain.

Lately I have been very intentional about letting go of perfection and celebrating progress instead. I no longer need to be THE best as long as I’m getting better. Creating this blog has given me many opportunities to put this to the test.

I have wanted to blog for a long time. I actually started one a few years ago. I knew of successful bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Seth Godin and Tsh Oxenrider. If I followed their exemple I too could be successful immediately I thought. Forget the moon and the stars, I was shooting for the sun… and I got burned.

I was spending hours on Google looking for the best theme, the best plugins, the best e-mail management campaigns. I was pouring over specialized websites and read pages and pages about the best post titles, the best words for SEO, the best way to grow an audience.

I was spending more time researching than writing and what I wrote was contrived. I was losing my authentic voice. I was catering to robots instead of addressing readers.
My Google searches did not lead me to THE perfect way to blog – since it doesn’t exist. I was overwhelmed by all the options and paralyzed by the fear of doing anything wrong. After a few months, I quit. I was taking resources, time and energy away from my family and I wasn’t achieving anything worthwhile.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. On the verge of turning 40, I committed to a disciplined writing practice. Words flowed and I had renewed energy and passion. I was craving the connection with an audience and decided to start a new blog.

This time around, I don’t care about internet bots, page ranks and keywords.
This time I am writing for people, flesh and blood people, feeling people, thinking people.
Imperfect people…like me.

This time I didn’t wait until I had it all figured out. I didn’t want to drown in the details and forget the big picture.
This time I didn’t worry about making mistakes. I expected them.
This time I didn’t overthink every single decision. I didn’t have to pick the best thing as long as I chose something.
I could have spent hours choosing a theme, instead I selected one I’d liked on another blog I follow.
I picked a permalink structure after reading only one article on the subject.
I followed my instinct and uploaded my content without photos knowing well that Google loves them.
I organized the posts by categories that made sense to me, not based on popular keywords.

I was amazed at how easy it was to get things done when I didn’t let myself get in the way.
I didn’t feel overwhelmed.
I didn’t feel anxious.
I felt good, exhilarated, content and, most of all, I felt proud.
I felt lighter.
I felt free-er.

There is joy in running with the wind in my hair even IF I might trip and fall flat on my face.
There are so many gems to uncover beneath my insecurities and fears.

Mistakes have blessed me.
They’ve taught me.
They’ve guided me.
Mistakes have sculpted me.
They’ve refined me.

I no longer fear mistakes. I embrace them as opportunities.
It’s certain I’m gonna make plenty more…
…and that’s okay. Actually that’s a good thing. It’s really kind of…perfect! 😉

What is your relationship with mistakes? Share in the comments below.

Don’t miss a post!