146. Overcoming Perfectionism

Do you ever feel stuck because you think you’re a perfectionist? I used feel this all the time until I realized I was just procrastinating. Ultimately, I was afraid of finishing something or putting myself out there because I was worried it wasn’t good enough.

If you can relate to this, I’m sharing how I have switched my mindset to move forward anyway – despite wanting to get things done perfectly.

I’ll see you inside! xo, Janeen


Oh and! If you want to join me for a LIVE workshop this week called From Hustle to Harmony. CLICK here to join me! 

I’d love to see you there!

> CLICK HERE to Watch on YouTube


[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey there, you guys. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I am Janeen Alley, and as always, I’m super excited to be hanging out with you guys today on The Mamas Who Do Podcast talking all about how to overcome perfectionism.

[00:00:16] I wanted to do a shorty episode today on the podcast because I’ve had this pop up in conversations recently, multiple times where I’m speaking to women and they’re telling me, well, I just have a tendency to be more of a perfectionist. And I get stuck feeling like if I can’t do it perfectly, then I’m not gonna do it at all.

[00:00:36] And I, I think sometimes this seems like such a noble pursuit in life is to have such high standards for ourselves that this is the way that we’re functioning in our lives. But ultimately what this does is it keeps us stuck. It’s kind of a fancy way to procrastinate something. What you’re doing is you’re afraid to put yourself out there or try [00:01:00] something new because you’re ultimately worried it’s not going to be good enough. It’s not going to meet your level of how it should be done, the standard of excellence that you have for yourself in your head, and that is commendable for sure, but you don’t want to use this as a tool to keep yourself stuck.

[00:01:19] And we all do this, I think, in our own way. I think that there are different degrees and ways that we do this, but I think this pops up a lot for most of us. So one way that I have helped kind of drop this perfectionism conversation, or ultimately my fear of moving forward, is just telling myself, I’m just gonna practice something.

[00:01:39] Because this gives me permission to be new at something. And to just kind of let myself not do it the way that I ultimately want to be doing something, but just kind of allow myself to kind of make, make my way there over time. I’ve mentioned before on the podcast that I grew up playing the violin.

[00:01:57] I still play the violin today, and most of my kids play [00:02:00] instruments. And, of course, when you’re learning an instrument, practicing is the thing that we need to do in order to get better. And I actually called it practicing when I was a kid. My mom would ask me, have you done your practicing today?

[00:02:10] Which means did you sit down and practice your instrument and play through your songs? It’s so funny because I just thought about practicing something as in that specific category with my music, and I didn’t really think about practicing anything else in my life, like practicing getting my homework done or practicing, you know, with sports or something.

[00:02:29] We just kind of got out there and played around and didn’t really think about it that way.

[00:02:34] But I want you to think about something that you’ve practiced in your life, whether you’ve called it practicing or not. I think this is something for us to think in more of a broader context to life. We don’t really call anything else practicing, but this is what we do when we’re doing things.

[00:02:51] I mean, even running a business, there’s a lot of things that I’m practicing. I’m practicing making offers. I’m practicing staying consistent with certain things. I’m practicing building websites. [00:03:00] I’m practicing being a parent, right? I’m practicing learning how to relax. That’s something that I talk about a lot is practicing learning how to relax because that’s not something that’s super innate for us and our culture, the culture that we live in.

[00:03:14] I practice all the time changing my thoughts as a coach. This is something that I do in my self coaching practice. But one of the things that I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been thinking about practicing and giving myself permission to practice is this is how a lot of children operate in their lives.

[00:03:29] And I know that there are some kids who are a little bit more hesitant and a little bit more tentative to doing something. But most of the kids that I’ve been with in my life, they don’t really think about failing. Right. They just give something a try and they let it be fun. It’s one of the reasons why I love teaching kids yoga is because they get on their mat, sometimes they don’t even have a mat actually, but they just show up and they play and they fall and they try again and they laugh and they have fun with me and it really is a good time. And I actually, as [00:04:00] a teacher has ha have had to kind of allow myself to practice teaching yoga to children because practicing yoga with kids is very different than practicing yoga with adults because kids wanna stay on a certain pose for a while. They like to practice it. Whereas adults, if we do something that’s difficult in our yoga practice, we’re like, okay, let’s hurry up through this so that I can get onto the other thing.

[00:04:21] They don’t wanna practice doing something that’s hard we’re they’re kind of wobbly or even falling over. We lose a lot of this as we get older. So why don’t we apply this at the same level as adults? And I think sometimes, I mean, speaking of yoga, we could get hurt, right? But I think speaking of other things, we could fail, right?

[00:04:44] We could look dumb and doing something we might get laughed at. There could be consequences for things. And I think also we get kind of stuck analyzing everything. So we get kind of stuck in this analysis paralysis or this research mode forever. [00:05:00] And it keeps us stuck. We don’t wanna try, cuz we might get it wrong.

[00:05:04] What if we’re wrong or we dabble in things forever? I know when I was a kid, I went to the lake a lot. I grew up in the northwest, in the Pacific Northwest and there’s so many beautiful lakes up there. I grew up specifically in Spokane, Washington. One of the things that we did at camp was we do the polar plunge.

[00:05:23] It was like 6 45 in the morning. All the kids that wanted to do the polar plunge were on the dock, shivering, because it’s cold in the morning in the Pacific Northwest. And then on the count of three or 10 or whatever the countdown was, we’d all jump into the lake together. Well, I did that like once, and then I realized, That was really uncomfortable and I don’t really like doing that, and so I became more of a dabbler at the lake.

[00:05:48] I would stick my toe in, or maybe I’d sit on the dock and kind of dangle my feet in the water, or I’d gradually kinda wade into the water. We do this as adults. We don’t really fully submerge in something. [00:06:00] We don’t a hundred percent commit to doing something because we feel like, well, I don’t wanna get it wrong.

[00:06:06] I’m just a perfectionist. One of the things I want to encourage you to do is when you’re not seeing results that you want, I want you to change this focus from getting it perfect or getting it right or being good enough at something to switching your attention into practicing something.

[00:06:27] So here are some examples of what I want you to practice. I want you to practice not quitting on yourself.

[00:06:34] So let me give you an example of how this shows up for me. When I work out by myself, I usually work out with my friend, Sarah, who’s an amazing person to work out with. I love meeting her every day at the gym, but some days we don’t meet together, and I’ve got a little home gym in my basement and I will go down there to lift weights for a little bit, but instead of doing four sets of something, I only wanna do two.

[00:06:59] [00:07:00] And so I’ve told myself, no, you’re gonna practice not quitting in your workout. You’re gonna practice following through until it’s done. And there are days where the whole conversation in my head is, I don’t wanna do this. And I’m like, So what? Let’s do it anyway. We’re gonna finish. We’re gonna practice not quitting because I know that when I do that on myself, when I quit on myself in the gym, when I feel like it doesn’t really matter cuz it’s only me involved, it’s easier for me to quit on myself and other arenas of my life.

[00:07:30] And so you can practice not quitting on yourself, and you can take many opportunities to do that during your day. You can practice self-discipline and showing up at the time that you said you were going to show up. You can practice working really hard at something, something that feels really uncomfortable.

[00:07:48] I know for a long time I practiced working really hard on these workshops and these webinars that I was doing, and I just actually did one today and I showed up for it and I’m like, these are a piece of cake for me now. I used to get so [00:08:00] nervous. I mean, I would have like two days of anxiety during the week where I would just be like, I don’t wanna show up for the webinar.

[00:08:07] I don’t wanna do this. But it’s not even a big deal for me. I just come, I show up, I chat with people. It’s so much fun for me to do those. You can practice, like I said, doing things that you need to do in order to get your goal, whatever that is. You can practice being patient with yourself. If you’re somebody who just likes results super fast, you can practice being patient with yourself or being resilient no matter what

[00:08:32] you’re gonna have your back and you’re gonna show up again, and you’re gonna keep doing it until you get the result that you want. You can practice being present with your kids. This is something that I have practiced where I’m like, you know, they’re talking to me and I’m like, practice looking into their eyes, practice engaging with them, practice leaving your phone somewhere else so that you can be fully present with what it is that they’re saying.

[00:08:53] This is something that I continue to practice because that’s how I wanna show up as a mom. You can practice being less edgy or you can [00:09:00] practice relaxing in your life. These are all things that you can practice doing. And I think sometimes we write it off like, well, I’m just not that kind of person. Well, I mean, welcome to being a human.

[00:09:10] I think we all have these reactive, kind of primitive brain tendencies that we, that we have, that we don’t necessarily like. But we, I think, sometimes feel like we can’t overcome these, or if we can’t change. And I’m here to tell you that you totally can. You totally can if you practice for sure. So over the last several years, I’ve been thinking about my business this way.

[00:09:30] I’ve been practicing podcasting. I’ve already given some examples. I’ve been practicing writing sales copy. I’ve been practicing posting consistently on social media and building sales funnels, and I’m getting really, really good at some of these things. Like in some ways I’m like, oh my gosh. I can’t believe that I just did that, or I just created that because when I started my business, and I’ve shared this before, when I’ve started my business, as far as computers go, I could pretty much turn the computer on and figure [00:10:00] out how to answer an email.

[00:10:02] That was kind of the extent of my tech savviness. But now there’s like so many things that I do online in my businesses because I’ve practiced these things so many times, and in some ways I am getting really good and in in other ways. I feel like, yeah, I’m still kind of a beginner stage at these things, but I like to see

[00:10:21] things I’m not good at, kind of with my beginner goggles on, because I’m open to receiving information for how I can get better. I don’t just close myself off by saying something like, well, that’s not for me, or, I’m not capable of doing that, or I’m afraid I’m gonna fail, so forget it. So that’s totally fine with me if I fail or if I don’t get it right.

[00:10:43] That’s how we learn new things. And because I show up this way. I have been able to learn so many things, and I totally get that there are some things that take me longer to do or to learn than other things or than even [00:11:00] other people, and that’s okay. Some things don’t come as naturally to me as

[00:11:04] they do for other people, and that’s totally fine because I do know that there are some things in my life that do come more naturally to me, and that’s fine. We’re just practicing. So I have hired several employees this year, and this is kind of the course that I take when I’m working with someone is we’re just practicing getting this figured out.

[00:11:22] We’re just practicing working on this together. And, and that’s been really good for me because over time I have become less of a black and white thinker on things.

[00:11:31] And so that has been good for me to just remind myself like, Hey, We’re not gonna flip out about this. We are figuring this out and we can do this together. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a perfect week ever in my business, and that’s totally fine. So whatever your goal is, I want you to practice doing whatever that thing is at your highest level today, okay?

[00:11:54] And I know that you have visions of grandeur in your future for whatever it is that you [00:12:00] wanna accomplish, and I think that’s awesome, and I don’t want you to let go of that. But I also want you to honor where you’re at right now on that continuum of growth and progress toward the thing that you ultimately want, right? Over time, you’re going to get better at what it is that you are doing because practice is what generates progress, not perfectionism. So remember, we’re going for progress. It’s what helps us get better at all the things that we’re doing and all the things that we want to do in our lives.

[00:12:29] So, I hope that this episode was helpful to you today. If it was, I’d love it if you shared it somewhere online with friends or however you put the information out there. I’d love it if you just passed it along to whoever. That would be amazing. And lastly, I want you to know that I am doing a live workshop this next Wednesday, and it is all about moving from hustle into harmony.

[00:12:52] So if that sounds like something that you would love to join me for, I would love to have you there. Find the link to [00:13:00] register at janeenalley.com/workshop. That is where I’m going to be hanging out next Wednesday at 1:00 PM Mountain Time, and I would love for you to join me. So again, that link is janeenalley.com/workshop and I hope to see you there.

[00:13:15] Alright you guys have a beautiful rest of your week. We will talk to you guys soon. Take care. We’ll see ya. Bye.