I hate big “BUTs” and I cannot lie!

How many times have you held yourself back waiting for the perfect moment? I’m ready to start this new fitness program BUT…I’m ready to share my work with the world BUT. It’s time to kick that big BUT in the butt because the reality is, the perfect moment will never arrive and you will never be perfectly ready.

I am a recovering perfectionist so I know what it feels like to hold myself back with the excuse that, I can’t do it because it’s not perfect. If you catch yourself desiring to take certain actions, yet as soon as you decide to make a move you hear that annoying voice, “But you’re not ready” or “it’s not perfect,” that’s the voice of perfectionism.

Over the years I have discovered that there is a silver lining beneath this negative trait. Although perfectionism is a force of resistance that serves to block us from taking positive action, it simultaneously carries a yearning to be great at whatever it is we are attempting to do. When we apply a spirit of excellence backed by the courage to take imperfect action we begin to transform perfectionism from a force that block us into a gift that propel us forward.

Many successful people like Martha Stewart and Serena Williams have admitted to being perfectionists, yet they have achieved great things despite it because they use it to drive them instead of hold them back. Every time that big BUT comes up for me I remind myself to kick it in the butt by taking imperfect action towards my goal while doing my very best. After all, we do not grow in the effort of being perfect; we grow in the effort of doing our best.

For example, the video recording of my song BeYOUtiful that has over 2,000 views on YouTube almost did not happen. My vision was to record the acoustic session in a lavish, professional studio but a few days before the scheduled recording I got a call from the studio saying that they could no longer facilitate my session. I was sitting in the rehearsal studio when I got the news and as I absorbed the shock of the situation the mixing engineer said,

“Why not just do it here?”

But, it’s not perfect, I thought. And there I was again holding myself back waiting for the perfect moment. That was my opportunity to jump out of the perfectionism trap by taking imperfect action, so I said,

“Yes let’s just do it.”

We seized the moment and now the message of the video is out impacting the world because I didn’t allow the circumstances to dictate the outcome.

Are we really attracted to perfection? We just have to look at our super hero stories to realize that we are not. Those beloved characters are all flawed individuals who were reluctant to take their ordained journeys yet we root for them because we admire their courage to do it anyway.

If you find yourself repeatedly stuck in “perfection paralysis” then it might lead to one of two very toxic complexes.

The first is the inferiority complex where perfectionism is used to hide feelings of inadequacy. This causes you to compare yourself to others often irrationally — comparing your weak points to their strengths. These people set ridiculous standards and then feel deeply disappointed when they are not achieved.

The second complex is the superiority complex where insecurity hides itself under the bright and shiny idea of being perfect. You can spot these types of people easily; they are the ones acting superior to others in order to hide their true feelings of inferiority.

The perfectionist’s worst enemy stares back at him in the mirror every day.

Would you prefer to be the critic who is never satisfied or the authentic individual who strives for excellence yet also recognizes the gift of imperfection? Whenever that big BUT comes up, just kick it by taking action towards your desires while giving it your best shot.

Now get on up out of that rut and let’s kick some BUT!

P.S. In this episode of LevantayTV I share with you the five steps I took to overcome the perfectionism trap. Click PLAY and lets KICK IT!

Originally published at levantay.com.

Originally published at medium.com


  • Levantay

    Professor, Bestselling Author

    Levantay is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Professor-preneur who helps entrepreneurs and professionals "Align" and Leverage their Gifts (knowledge and experiences) into premium programs and services so they can help others while having more joy, impact, income and freedom. She is also an equity and inclusion specialist in higher education. Beyond the classroom Levantay is a renaissance woman: mother, military spouse and singer who likes to write music and poetry in her spare time. Connect with her and get practical ways to implement the information you learned in this article Levantay.com Linkedin Instagram  @levantay