You guys know where I was last week don’t you? Living it up at this conference.
And, as it would happen, reacquainting myself with a level of perfectionism I thought I had beat.
You see, I know the value of any conference is less in the stuff you learn and more in the genuine connections you make. I should have been in my element making said genuine connections. Instead, ye olde shy introvert side of me joined forces with the (I thought, long-buried) perfectionist side of me to put this conversation on high rotation in my head: “Look at all these amazing, smart, motivated, inspiring people. Don’t try to talk to them unless you have something of serious value to add to the conversation.”
So as you can imagine, I didn’t say much for the first couple of days.
Then I confessed the above to Ant.
His response was to roll his eyes, tell me I was ridiculous and that I think too much. Yeah, thanks for the sympathy Ant! But I did manage to relax a bit by the end. So relaxed did I get, in fact, I thought it would be ok to tell John Lee Dumas that his avatar made him look like a bit of wanker when in real life, he was not.
Yes. I did say that. And yes. I haven’t stopped replaying that moment and cringing about it ever since (FFS!).
So anyway. I workshopped the whole conference experience with my psychologist cousin on the weekend and she confirmed that yes, I am not actually a recovering perfectionist. I am still a full-blown perfectionist. And perhaps it’s time to revisit my therapist.
In the meantime however, I’ve decided to attack the problem by reading about it. Here’s what I’ve found for any fellow small-talk-hating, introverted perfectionists out there.
Good old Marie Forleo shares her (in her eyes) cringeworthy first workshop to remind us all that we have to start somewhere. Another good thing to do if you’re ever feeling intimidated by, say, another blogger, is to go back in their archives and read their first few posts. (And sorry, you can’t read mine. The server disaster of 2015 wiped them all out and (strangely) I haven’t seen fit to re-load them in!)
The fact that I haven’t started writing my second book yet despite the fact that I’ve had the outline sorted for months now is a good indication that perfectionism = procrastination(ism).
And if ever I needed a reminder about just how far I can take perfectionism, then this from Liz Gilbert on Facebook today was a handy one. Particularly this bit:
“Richard knew why failure was so hard for me … it’s because I’m a ceaseless striver … It’s because I think life is some kind of code that we should be able to crack — and I mistakenly believe that if I do crack the code of life, then there will be no more suffering or confusion or strife.”
Oh my god it’s like she’s in my head. Or I’m in her head. Or we’re the same person. Or something.