Perfectionism Will Keep You Poor

Life is full.  It is for most of us these days.  Few are the lazy days down by the river.  Three kids now, lots of crying, pushing boundaries, and little people discovering themselves.  Often doesn’t leave time for me to do much self-discovery of my own.  Most days I just want to rediscover my pillow and I can’t wait for the kids to go to bed and the house to be quiet once again.  That’s just being honest.

I dream of helping people most of the time…just being honest again.  That’s what I think about when I’m exercising or washing the dishes or laying in bed.  How can I help people more?  What can I create, what can I do, what can I say or teach or show people that will help make them healthier, happier, and flip the switch for them?  How can I be a better leader? Lots of questions, lots of things I want to be doing, and a big person I want to be being.  

The problem is, I’m tapped out on most days.  I’m serving my kids, my husband, my clients, my patients, picking up, dropping off, grocery shopping—all of it.  It doesn’t leave much time or energy for creative flow or giving any more than I already am.

People think I’ve got it all together, but I don’t.  Just being honest.  I’m making it through the day to day, one pant leg at a time, just like everyone else. 

The bigger problem is that I am a die-hard perfectionist.  I know, big surprise, right?  It’s true.  There is no one that is harder on me than I am, guaranteed.  And this perfectionism, it paralyzes me sometimes.  It keeps me from being present, from stepping out or stepping up, from launching, and from serving — the very things that I value the most and desire most to do in my life.  It cripples me.  

You see, I don’t want to put something out there that isn’t perfect, that won’t WOW people, that won’t give the value that I have fully envisioned.  It’s not because I want the accolades or because of my ego, it’s because I so deeply desire to help people that I want to IMPACT them.  And impact causes shifts, shifts transform people, transformation changes lives and hearts and minds.  We get happier, healthier, more connected, more joyful, more fruitful, more…..

Doesn’t that sounds just perfect?

Well, it is and it isn’t.  Because if in trying to make it all perfect and have this great impact, I wait and wait and put it off and hide my thoughts, ideas, and service from the very people I want to serve, then all of us remain poor and it truly is all for nothing.


Perfectionism = Poor


Got that?  It’s true.  In anything, trying to be perfect will leave you poor.  Poor financially, poor in spirit, poor in happiness, poor in service, poor in impact, poor in influence, poor in energy, poor in health.  You name it.  What thing was ever made better by perfectionism?

Any masterpiece that has every been made, it could have been better.  The beauty is not in the perfectness of it, rather in the perfect imperfection of what is.  In the allowing of letting something that is really good be so, so….just right.  We often have such a macro view of ourselves, our project, our idea, that we forget that a masterpiece is only a masterpiece if we stand back and view it from a distance.  Ever gotten really up close to a painting? You’ll see all of the imperfections and inconsistencies.  But stand back and that’s where the true beauty can be appreciated.

As with anything in life, we can and often do continue to change it, to tweak it, to evolve it into the grander vision.  Our lives, our mission, our vision and desires for the future and what we want to accomplish, do and be — it’s all just philosophy and intangible dreams until we choose to act.  Take that one first step, or that one next step.  Wobble and falter.  It’s okay.  Go ahead and be imperfect.  I know it’s a totally vulnerable thing to do, and that’s hard for us perfectionists.  Do it any way.


Prioritize Progress, NOT Perfect. 


A little more, a little more, a little more.  That’s it.  

Are you waiting for the right time to launch—your book, your career, your business, your program, your idea, your new exercise routine?  Guess what?!  You’re ready now.  NOW is the time.  You’re totally ready, it’s good enough (and likely way better than good enough), and you already know enough to do what you’re wanting to do.

So if you’re a tired out perfectionist like me, stop wasting your energy waiting and striving for something that can never be attained.  It’ll save you a lot of time, and you’ll feel better in your mind and your body if you just realize that perfectionism is going to keep you poor, and then become unavailable for being poor anything.  It’s killing your mind-set and your mojo.  

Up-level your life right here and make the shift.  Progress, not perfection.  Drink some of that kool-aid, it’s delicious!



Erin Martin