How many of us are “perfectionists”? I hate that word. I hate that it’s a badge of honour. I’ll tell you what else it is: a big fat excuse not to have to do anything.
WHEN DEMOTIVATION KICKS IN
I was talking to my client today about how she was feeling really exhausted. She was feeling really demotivated. She’s still in her corporate job – I know how that feels to have 40-50 work hours a week and then to have your business on top of it. It is tough – there’s no way around that.
But when we dug into that, it wasn’t really about the energy. In coaching, it’s never really about the thing that you think it is about, right? (That’s why we go to coaching, so we can find the real answers).
She was feeling this lack of energy. She could have gone to bed an hour earlier – we decided that she was going to do that. She’s also going to work on her business when she’s fresh in the morning, rather than the evening. These practical things do help.
But the main issue was more that she was feeling demotivated because she was feeling overwhelmed. And the reason she was feeling overwhelmed is that she wanted everything to be perfect and to be correct.
She was feeling blocked because she was scared of getting visible. She was starting to create a list and emailing her clients – and it triggered a fear in her.
She was feeling this fear of, “If people don’t like what I have to say, then I am not good enough. If I don’t create the perfect email, blog, Facebook post, website, whatever it is, then people are not going to resonate, people are not going to like me.”
She was looking for validation outside of herself. This undescribed, undefined “person”, this reader of her emails, (this somebody who could be anyone, we have no clue!) was blocking her. She was giving all of her power to them and stopping all of her work, all of her business – just in case they didn’t like her.
It’s so illogical – how do you even know who “they” are? Even it was a good idea to try to please them (which it’s not), how could you possibly please them if you do not even know who they are?
YOU CAN’T THINK YOUR WAY TO PERFECTION
Now, you need to have a certain ideal client. You need to know who they are. You need to write something that’s going to attract them. But you cannot get to point where you won’t write anything unless you know they are going to love it.
Because as I said to her, you can’t think your way to perfection.
It’s not like you can sit there and the more you think about it, the better it’s going to get.
We often think that thinking about it enough will allow some magical answer to come to us, and everything will be perfect and we’ll be millionaires and all our problems will be solved…
It doesn’t work like that.
GET OUT THERE
The way you improve is that you put something out there – anything. You try your best with what you have at the time and then you see what works. And then you pivot, you check.
With messaging and marketing your business – put out something around roughly whatever the topic is that you want to talk about.
If you’re a health coach, you talk about X type of food. Maybe that works, maybe that resonates – if it does, amazing! And if it doesn’t, then you tweak and try something else. Similar, aligned but slightly different.
So maybe instead of talking about the weight loss properties, you talk about stress management properties. Instead of talking about food, you talk about meditation. Instead of talking about food, you talk about exercise.
And you just pivot your way until you start finding and discovering what people actually like, what they resonate with.
And there are so many things and so many variables within this whole equation – like the time that you are posting, the images that you’re using, the length of your posts. And there’s really no right or wrong – you’ve got to test for your audience.
Because whenever you create something, you’re creating it from you, it’s going to have your tonality, your wording, the way that you express yourself, your aesthetic, your face even, maybe.
PEOPLE WILL LIKE YOU FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE
There’s no hard and fast rule to this. It depends on who you are trying to attract and what it is about you that they find attractive. And that is something that you can’t really create or manufacture – that’s just coming from the way that you are.
So a lot of people say that I am kind of calm. And I am kind of calm. I am a really chilled out person in general. And I am not super energetic like many people are on Facebook live. And that’s just me. If I was trying to fake this energy all the time, it really wouldn’t work very well and I would probably get tired very quickly.
But a lot of people like my calmness. They actually say, “The reason that I signed up to work with you is that you weren’t this crazy extrovert.” “The reason that I signed up to work with you, is that you felt sensible.”
And I’m sure for every person who is signing up to work with me because of it, there are other people who are scrolling right past my video – who think it is pretty boring.
There’s going to be people who are scrolling past because I look a bit of a mess in some of my videos when I shoot at the end of my work day. I don’t have makeup on and I am not standing in front of the Eiffel Tower with my cocktail dress on. That works for some people and that is amazing! And that also doesn’t work for other people.
So there are elements of you,elements of your being: your personality, who you are, your character – that’s going to attract some people and not attract others, and that’s totally fine.
But you won’t know what that is until you start getting out there and start doing stuff that is a bit imperfect because that’s how you learn.
DON’T WAIT FOR THINGS TO BE PERFECT
Don’t wait to be perfect because perfection is never going to happen. It is impossible. Even improvement is not going to happen unless you do.
You cannot think your way to perfection. You cannot think your way to improvement. You must DO. You ACT your way to improvement.
They always say if you are not embarrassed with your first attempt a few years down the line, you didn’t get out there fast enough. Get something out there, whether it’s a website that you will be embarrassed with down the line; or a service offer; or a Facebook post – get it out there. And you can start pivoting and improving and adjusting from there.
To improve, you must have actual, real-world data. You must have client reaction, audience reactions, to understand whether it works or not. The doing gives you that data. You can’t just think and keep thinking and somehow you magically find the answer, it doesn’t work that way.
You cannot be perfect, don’t try to be perfect. Don’t wait for perfection, it is not going to happen.
YOUR NEXT STEP
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