Photo by: Steve Johnson from Unsplash.com
I was frozen for a long time.
Before I decided to create my own business, there were so many rationalizations: the money, security, the marketing.
But underneath, it was about fear.
I kept thinking I needed to know more–to offer the most value. I needed to get more certifications or take more workshops. I had to have everything in place, it had to be the right time to jump in.
Being frozen is not just about being out in the cold too long. It is about leaving yourself out in the cold.
From the action where others are and where you are desperate to be. It is that awful stuck place: looking from the outside with your nose pressed up against the window—longing to be a part of things.
And it is the loneliness: placing a boundary around yourself and not letting people in, because you believe you have to do it all yourself.
It shows up in never completing projects or taking way longer than needed and leaving opportunities and time for yourself and your family on the table.
It may come out as a belief that you never know enough, will never get it right and so it is easier to stand still than to just get out there and let the chips fall where they may.
Being frozen is about perfectionism. And ultimately, perfectionism is about fear. And fear is a crisis of faith…faith and trust in yourself.
So, I am guessing that if you are a perfectionist you know who you are.
I get it. You want to get it “right”. You don’t want to have to do it over later. You don’t trust that others will do as good a job as you.
And you want to think very, very carefully about your next step because it might be the wrong one.
I have worked with clients who disliked what they were doing, but were frozen in place, because they believed that the next job had to be the last one. The next career had to be the thing they were going to be doing until they retired. And these were young adults in their early 30’s.
Many will have changed jobs several times and possibly shifted careers more than once from the time they are 30 until they retire.
But while you are trying to get things just, right, the world keeps turning.
And when you wait because you are afraid—you don’t give yourself the opportunity to get it right, because you don’t get it done. An undone project is one from which you don’t have the opportunity to learn.
Furthermore, you don’t give people the pleasure of the opportunity to help you. Believe it or not, people like to help.
If you were in the position to help someone else, wouldn’t that feel good? Wouldn’t you say, “yes” if you could?
Everyone has to make decisions on whether they stay at a job or work for themselves, how they parent, what tasks they have to complete and what others can help them with. We all have many demands on our time.
But ask yourself, am I making these decisions out of fear or is this where I need to be or what I need to be doing right now? And does this task really need to be “perfect”?
However, taking inventory to gain insight requires that you slow down enough to notice from what place you are making decisions. Is it from intention or from fear?
Do you want your fear of making a mistake be the decision-maker?
How does perfectionism show up in your life?
Sharon Burris-Brown is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and a Licensed Social Worker. She has helped hundreds of people carve out time for the people and the pursuits they love. If you would like a free strategy call, click: here. If you would like to join her free Facebook Group: Stress Release for Working Parents click: here.