4 ways perfectionism is slowing your creative business down
There are a few times a year when the unthinkable happens to us online creatives: inquiries start drying up + sales and client work slows down.
This happens at least once a year for most creative business owners and it’s usually during the summer months.
But what about all the times you hold YOURSELF back in business? What about all those moments your perfectionism is slowing you down?
You might not realize it, but these moments - however big or small they may be - happen everyday in your creative business.
Even though I’m heading into my fourth year of business, I’m still surprised by the number of mindset blocks, limiting beliefs + subconscious, emotional saboteurs that slow my progress.
Let’s examine them, shall we?
4 ways perfectionism is slowing your creative business down
Before we dive in, I want to make sure you understand exactly what perfectionism is, how it shows up for you + how to start the process of overcoming your perfectionism.
This is a great place to start. (It’s worth the read, I promise! You won’t look at perfectionism the same afterwards.)
It’s important to realize that each of these 4 ways perfectionism is slowing your creative business down is rooted in perfectionistic fear. Whether it’s a fear of failure, success, criticism, rejection, or not being good enough, we’ve all experienced them at some point or another.
While fear sometimes motivates you to make positive changes, it can also keep you stuck. Deep fears can leave you feeling angry, resentful + worn out.
We all have fears. They’re a necessary and helpful component of human existence. But the more locked away your fears are from your conscious thought, the more they drive you to behave in self-destructive or limiting ways.
Let’s find out how.
/ 1 / You don’t want to be a beginner
This one is unexpected, I know. But think about it: you probably have no problem teaching, blogging, coaching etc from a place of authority, whether that expertise is hard-earned or not, but sharing your story, talking about the things you struggle with, or admitting to the fact you haven’t figured it all out is more difficult for you.
You think declaring yourself a capital E expert makes you more capable, more qualified, more worthy of a client’s investment, less of an imposter for doing the work you do. I get it. I’ve been there.
However, it also makes you come across as less human. Being an expert (and only letting yourself be seen as an expert) creates distance between yourself and your audience. It’s harder to build up trust that way.
By all means, show off your talents, skills + knowledge. And also, be vulnerable from time to time. Share your imperfect moments, flaws + mistakes along the way too.
/ 2 / You’re waiting to start
Maybe it looks like being stuck because you don’t feel ready yet, maybe it looks like sheer overwhelm of everything left to do to make your big idea a reality, but perfectionism-induced procrastination is slowing you down big time.
Self-awareness is key here. Where in your creative process are you likely to procrastinate? Is there one part that’s constantly holding you back? For instance, you easily come up with big ideas but you have no idea how to break those ideas down into manageable chunks.
And are there circumstances that lead to your procrastination? Perhaps when you work home alone?
The thing to remember here is what matters is not getting something done well, but getting something done at all.
You don't want it to be perfect, you want it to be finished.
/ 3 / You’re doubting yourself
Do you ever play the “I’m just average” card? Do you ever tell yourself that there’s no place for you in the entrepreneurial world? Or that you’re a terrible writer and nobody will read your blog, so why even bother?
You might not even be aware of these lies anymore, because they’ve somehow become background noise from so much playing on repeat.
It’s impossible to go somewhere new, to become something new, when you have so much dead weight holding you back. Any meaningful progress towards your goals requires you to acknowledge and then systematically destroy each lie you’ve been telling yourself.
So, list the top 3 lies about being an online creative you have been telling yourself. Then, flip the script. Next to each lie, write down a more accurate description of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Self-doubt comes with the territory of being a creative business owner, but you can learn to manage your self-doubt and the negative self-talk in your head. It doesn’t have to slow your business down.
/ 4 / You’re afraid of being visible
If the idea of posting a video on Instagram Stories breaks you out in a cold sweat, this is for you.
Being visible sounds like it should be easy. Post on social media and pop a blog post out every now and again and you’re sorted, right?
What I’ve found in my own work is that getting visible is really scary, especially as someone who’s a highly sensitive introvert. What I’d do was spend a lot of time on the creation side of things – writing blog posts, creating freebies + workshops and very little time on the marketing side.
Putting yourself out there can be really triggering.
What if people don’t like you? What if your mother-in-law sees you and makes a snarky comment? What if you sound stupid? What if you start to stutter?
It’s worth spending a little bit of time tapping into yourself to see what might be behind your fear of being visible. For me it was the old tune of “not good enough”.
The only way to get over this fear of putting yourself out there is… to put yourself out there. A bit like exposure therapy.
Yes, it’s scary. But no one’s going to think you’re not good enough. The thing you think of as a giant roadblock - like posting a video on Instagram Stories that shows your light stutter - most people are going to find endearing. It’s what allows you to connect with your audience and with potential clients.
Are you stuck in perfectionism and need little help letting go of the perfectionist tendencies that are holding you back? Then make sure to download your FREE copy of my perfectionism-busting workbook.
WHICH OF THESE 4 WAYS THAT PERFECTIONISM IS SLOWING YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS DOWN RESONATES MOST WITH YOU?
Hey, Wendy here!
As a perfectionism coach, I help online creatives #ditchperfect, overcome their perfectionism + take action on the big ideas they have for their business. Let’s work together and make those ideas happen.