I was the nerd at school that got the straight A’s, and I got a bit of reputation for being ‘perfect’. This perfectionist label stayed with me and became something I felt was SO IMPORTANT to who I was.
Being Perfect was something I actually thought was a good thing to be aspiring to. However, the pressure that I would put on myself to consistently ‘perform’ to was actually stopping me from being both the best and happiest version of me. I would beat myself up over every single thing that went wrong; or even my impression of what I THOUGHT was going to go wrong in THE FUTURE if I didn’t behave a certain way right now.
It would really hit me when trying to create presentations. They would never be good enough. I would stare at the screen for hours on end obsessing about every little powerpoint detail, and then have a melt-down when I realised I was out of time and would have to use the presentation AS IT WAS!!
I remember the first ever property down-val I ever got and I gave myself SUCH a hard time over it – why didn’t I do this / why didn’t I say that… blah blah blah! Think it must have taken days or even weeks of my headspace stressing over it. Down Vals happen sometimes in property, and I’m proud that over the last few years I’ve learnt not to take it personally, and just crack on and do what you can to sort it out.
Oh and turns out imperfect presentations work brilliantly too – audiences seem to love it when something doesn’t work out perfectly (as long as you have a sense of humour!)
If you can relate to the feeling of berating yourself for every little thing that doesn’t go perfectly – I hope this post helps you realise you are not alone!
Here’s some of my biggest learnings over the last few years which have really helped to feel comfortable being just ‘perfectly imperfect’…
- Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Get clear on what YOU want for your life (your vision) and choose a strategy that will get you there to commit to. Shut out what everyone else is doing because IT IS NOT relevant to you. If you try to keep up, you’ll always be left behind – which is a delusion! – you are not being left behind if you are taking action that moves you towards where you want to go.
- Target yourself on the challenges not on the successes. Funny thing is when you get through challenges, success is usually on the other side. So rather than see challenges as a problem, see them as something to be solved (and even… enjoyed!) on the journey to success. When things go wrong it doesn’t mean that YOU have done anything wrong or that you could have done anything different. Solve the problem in hand and move on.
- There is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder! Even if you think you have achieved perfection… there will still ALWAYS be someone that disagrees with you because THEIR idea of perfect is something different to yours.
- You can’t be brilliant at everything. Find what you love to do and just get brilliant at doing that and surround yourself with other people who are brilliant at the stuff you don’t love. Free yourself to NOT be good at things, and you’ll actually get better at what you love to do… and THAT will truly make you a master.
- If you think you can please everyone, you’ll please no-one. You can actually end up losing a lot of your natural brilliance if you think you try to please everyone. So please yourself! Get ok with some people NOT being ok with you and what you stand for. This will give you permission to embrace your uniqueness… and THAT is what will enable you to truly stand out from the crowd.
Embracing these 5 learnings above has made me the happiest and most relaxed version of myself I have ever been (although I do admit I’ve still got work to do!) – I hope they go some way to helping you too.
Oh and I thought a sweaty no-make-up gym selfie would go some way to showing how far I’ve come not trying to be an image of perfection all the time 🤣
Jackie Tomes, The Property Strategist & Recovering Perfectionist