Note to Self: You Are Awesome, As Is

perfectionism and procrastinationI used to have a to-do list with a table of contents.

I was hooked.

Bringing “order” to life was my addiction … my drug of choice.

I designed a color-coded garage, a storage space for everything, and everything in its place.

To say I was “neat and tidy” would be an understatement.

I never left the house without completing a full regimen of make-up application. And my jewelry had to match the occasion, even if it was a trip to the grocery store.

My label writer and I were meant for each other and we enjoyed a beautiful long term relationship.

I smiled every time I opened the pantry door and saw labels smiling back at me. Every shelf had a clear purpose, thanks to my addiction.

I was in labeling heaven — my rendition of bliss.

Nothing made me happier than a closet filled with precision-folded towels and the sweet smell of freshly-laundered bed linens, ironed to perfection. You should have seen the impressive crispness in those creases!

Martha Stewart couldn’t hold a candle to my ironing prowess.

A dust-free environment and a clean car was a must, the bathroom mirrors were never smudged, and my pets were bathed and groomed like clockwork.

My dietary habits were regimented beyond belief. Military boot camp had nothing on me!

And then I woke up from the coma of perfection.

Bringing order to life sucked every ounce of physical, emotional, and creative energy from me.

My drug of choice no longer created euphoria.

In fact, it made me sick – sick and tired of trying to be perfect.

I broke up with my label writer and today I fondly refer to myself as a “recovering perfectionist”.

I finally accept and embrace the truth that I’m awesome, as is.

Personal tale aside, I’d like to ask you awesome solopreneurs and small biz owners …

Do you have stringent routines, suffocating habits, or stifling behaviors you need to break up with? Is perfectionism keeping you from “shipping” the projects you need to finish if you ever want to make money?

And if perfectionism isn’t an issue for you, how about “procrastination”?

Are you a Level 10 Procrastinator?

If perfectionism or procrastination isn’t in your character, is there anything else that begins with “p” that’s bugging you these days?

  • Love this!

    A few years ago, I found that my outside world mirrors my inside world. When I have everything so super structured and perfected, I can bet that I am keeping my emotions and inner thoughts, feelings in tight reign also.

    The reverse is also true…when my house/car/office is in disarray, usually I am also a bit scattered.

    Letting go of the need to control everything has been a big lesson for me and has allowed me to be more open and authentic to everyone around me.

    Thank you for reminding me of this…as I still have a problem pushing the go button when things aren’t perfect…

    • Terry, your perception of perfection really rings true with me. The phrase, “Birds of a feather” comes to mind. 🙂

      You’re SO right …
      When the physical aspect of your life is in disarray, you can bet your boots the emotional part is a mess! They are so intertwined, it’s not even funny. One is a direct reflection of the other.

      Thanks a million for dropping in to share your thoughts — appreciated big time! 🙂
      See ya soon in the Biz Bloggers’ Mastermind.

  • Hi Melanie,

    You and this blog are awesome!! My house happens to be a mess… I’ll say it’s an artistic choice, a precaution against having the creativity sucked out of me, when really it’s just a bit of a “screw you” to my past perfectionist ways which were remarkably similar to yours! I sometimes can’t believe that many moons ago I would bake a brand new cake from scratch if I got two crumbs in the frosting while making pretty swirls in it. Now I get crumbs ALL OVER and just use it as an excuse to pile on more frosting!

    I still have a very long daily to-do list, but only my priorities (writing, fun client work and most important, hanging out with my daughters and our pittie Ivy!) ever really get crossed off, while chores like cleaning are done in the absolute least perfectionist way possible (hence the mess!) I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

    Thank you for a fun and inspirational read!

    • Love this, Katherine …
      ” … a bit of a “screw you” to my past perfectionist ways” That’s the spirit!! You’re kickin’ perfectionism to the curb!

      Might I say it’s been a joy crossing paths with you online? And thanks a bunch for catching my post and sharing your insights (okay, more like true confessions). Good for you for scratching housework off your high-priorities list. Now go bake a crumb-y cake and pile on some extra frosting for me! 🙂

      It’s wonderful knowing you and I are perfectly imperfect. 😉

      • It’s been an absolute joy crossing paths with you online as well, Melanie! Your sweet comments always make my day 🙂 And I will get right on baking that crumb-y cake with extra frosting!

  • Love this, Melanie. I had a mild case of perfectionism a long time ago with the occasional sprinkle of procrastination. Yes, you can have both.

    I don’t know if it’s age or wisdom (which may be synonymous), but I learned to let things go. No, I am not a candidate for the show Hoarders but my Miller energy meter asks the question, Is this worth the energy? (which includes mental energy – especially mental energy). The answer us usually No. 🙂

    • GREAT question to ask yourself, Cathy — love it!

      When something just isn’t worth the energy (nor the time and effort) you’re going to put into it …
      Just stop. And don’t bother. 🙂

      Yes …
      It’s “age and wisdom” talkin’ here. I like to believe we make a little progress along the highway of life and we learn some truly valuable lessons. The older I get, the better I get at establishing priorities. And if something isn’t going to create any happiness for me, I cross it off my list. Life is too doggone SHORT to be dusting the furniture every day. LOL!

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • Melanie, thanks for your post! I’m a bit on the other side of the isle and could use more order in my life 🙂 but it’s so true we can really go overboard. I know as a parenting coach – the idea of being a perfect parent plagues most of us – it’s a downer and of course the perfect parent doesn’t exist!! Being a model of imperfection is way more helpful! Thank you.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lisa — appreciate the visit!

      Well …
      “Parenting” certainly begins with a “P”. 😉
      I’m a single mum to four daughters, two of whom are meticulously organized young women (Can’t imagine where they acquired such a trait) LOL!

      You’re right …
      Perfection in parenting simply does NOT exist. We moms and dads mess up sometimes and we don’t always make the best decisions. All that really says is that we’re human. Parenting is the hardest job on earth … and the salary isn’t great, either. But we get paid in other ways that are, in my opinion, priceless. If we can help our children to grow up to be mature, responsible adults, that’s payment enough.

      Wishing you the best of success with coaching!