(Cue dramatic playing music here.)This roadblock is a BEAST because it likes to operate under the guise of excellence, hard work, and ambition.

Perfectionism is malicious and holds us back from putting ourselves out there, showing up, sharing our work, and connecting with others.

It wants you to think that it’s your friend, it’s doing you a favor, but it’s not. It’s just holding you back from greatness.

I’ve struggled with perfectionism for a long time. I didn’t really understand how debilitating it could be until I was introduced to Brené Brown, foremost expert on shame and vulnerability.

In this brilliant interview with Oprah, she points out that perfectionism is armor. It’s guise is protection, but it’s fueled by fear.

Perfectionism hinders more than it helps. Which is why I have now adopted Brené’s brilliant words: I’m a recovering perfectionist.

So how do you start combatting this ultimate nemesis?

    • Aim for a C+ Take the project or task at hand and instead of listening to your high school instincts that are telling you must get an A+, make a C effort and put it out into the world. Guess what? 99% of what you produce can be improved in later iterations. Your not a heart surgeon, so what’s the worst that can happen? Start somewhere and improve from there.
    • Bribe yourself to start If perfection is keeping you from even stepping into the game, find something that can entice you to start. If you email the producer you’ve been dying to connect with, grab an ice cream. If you write 3 chapters of your book, give yourself an hour to watch your favorite show. If you go to that networking event you’ve been too afraid to venture near, buy that outfit you’ve been eyeing. Whatever lights you up inside, use it as fuel to start.
    • Set a process goal Process goals are GENIUS! Why? Because they put you back in the drivers seat and help you feel accomplished instead of depleted. Process goals are the smallest (and most achievable!) goal you can set for yourself. Instead of having the goal be to book the job or land the gig, focus on what process could move you in that direction. For instance, emailing x number of promoters per week or attending x number of gallery openings.
    • Look at the people who are less qualified doing what you want to be doing If you ever need a big old slap in the face, take a step back and look at the people who are less skilled or less qualified than you actually doing what you want to be doing. I promise you, they are out there. The only difference between them and you is that they ignored perfectionism and just started.

So the next time perfectionism pops up? Show it whose really the hero of your tale by using one of the tactics above.

About the Author: Never one to let the status quo or excuse “this is the way it is” hold her back, Victoria Hines has spent years identifying the heart of problems and creating strategies to overcome them. She started bringing these skillsets to her work with individual creatives and quickly realized that there was a larger problem to address: how do you build a creative career that is fulfilling and sustainable? Victoria is a creative career coach whose mission is to empower creative artists to define their own version of success and build a holistic and sustainable career path as a creative. Through her Find Your Path program as well as 1:1 coaching, Victoria has helped creatives navigate career pivots and level-up in their careers.

Content provided by Women Belong member Victoria Hines