When I was 16, I told my mother I was not going to do my Physics GSCE (British State exams), because I knew that I did not have a good enough grasp on the subject to get an A. She persuaded me by saying – people will want to know how many you got, not the individual grades. I got 9 – 6As, 2Bs and a goddam C in Physics.
This fear of not being perfect and somehow being a failure if I did not get As hung on to me, through my degree and throughout my PhD.
Emigrating, motherhood, a child with cancer, another with problems requiring therapeutic interventions, a failed marriage and building my own business has forced me to face my battles with imperfection.
Hi, my name is Tamsin and I am a (recovering) Atelophobic.
Yes – there is a word for it – fear of imperfection!
How do I handle it now?
1. Inspiring quotations
“Perfect is the enemy of the done” anon
“You regret what you didn’t do, not what you did do” anon
“To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.” John Ruskin
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying,” Michael Jordan
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery,” James Joyce
2. Accountability – I partner with people to get my shit done – in business to keep my goals on track, with my friends for exercise/gym/cooking commitments, with my kids to keep our shared space together & organized.
3. I start by setting the bar low. I get successful with something and then I increase my expectations and I push myself more each time. Start with a 5-minute meditation. EVERYONE has 5 minutes. After a week, make it 7 minutes. And so on…
Email me back and share with me your struggles or successes with moving out of fear and into action!
Copyright Tamsin Astor, YogaBrained LLC, 2016