Hiding Out Behind Perfection

As a recovering perfectionist and a wannabe hermit at times, a post in a Facebook group caught my eye.

The topic – perfectionism is the nemesis of visibility.



The person posting shared putting their best effort into their work also held them back.

Nuancing every last detail can feel satisfying, but it keeps you from putting your work into the world.

From connecting and making progress.

From being visible.

Double ouch.


Not hard to guess this post wasn’t going to scroll quietly by without obserflection.


The thing about being a recovering perfectionist is you always have to pay attention.

You have to be aware enough to catch yourself slipping into old patterns.

Which means knowing the patterns to begin with.


The first point of relief was realizing I am and will never be a full time perfectionist.

There are clearly areas of my life where barely good enough was excelling.

Economics 101 comes to mind.

Vacuuming underneath the couch is another.

Best efforts are better spent elsewhere.



Perfection starts to kick in where I will see the results.

Or know someone might see my work somewhere down the road.

Like building a wall, drywalling or removing wallpaper.

Doing a job well is important, right?

There’s a sense of pride. Craftsmanship.

And then you see tiles in Mexico to remind you otherwise.


Then thoughts turned to business …

where I must be visible.

Aaackkk! Perfection runs rampant!

I’m doomed.


Wait a second, though.

Perfection doesn’t always take control.

What gives?


On the surface perfectionism looks like a stalling tactic.

But I don’t always stall.

Sometimes being launched into imperfection is fun.

Like with live streaming.

Yammering on for days is easy.

If a blip happens then I’ll handle it.


Ahhh, there’s the key.


And clarity.

The more depth and confidence I have in an area, the more I throw caution to the wind.

Experiment, test and tweak is the way to go.

Making mistakes is part of the process.

No biggie.


But where I’m new at something, or unclear about a decision that needs to be made …


Perfection drives the bus at break neck speed.


Time to research, analyze and find that elusive one last detail that will make everything click.

Analysis paralysis quickly follows from information overwhelm.

Yeah! Another perfectly good reason not to move forward.

Ahem, stay invisible.


The silly thing is, trying new things and being more visible grows confidence and capabilities.

Much easier to say than do, though.

Not always easy to convince yourself failing is succeeding.

There’s a leap of faith – or twelve needed to keep going until you start to see some changes happening.

That opens the door to relax a bit and shift mindsets.


I’m onto you perfection.

Watch out.



Letters From Home - Keep In Touch

Letters From Home are delivered every Tuesday, and includes additional goodies. To receive your copy, please leave your name so we can stay in touch.




feel free to share

Read other
Lorraine Watson - on rustic porch

chief nudging officer


Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.


  1. Jenn Sutkowski on March 15, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Yes yes yes all the yes, Lorraine!! And I hadn’t heard that Saint-Exupery quote before. How…ahem…PERFECT!! This is certainly one of my *things.* But I am growing, getting better (maybe “more me” is the right word choice), more confident and clear — I agree wholeheartedly on those being key. (And meow to Hugh! They’ve got the hot setup, it appears!)

    • Lorraine on March 16, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Hey Jenn. Yeah, the cool thing about becoming clearer and confident in being our true selves is there are the opportunities to see how far we’ve come as well what’s still poking around. We may never be finished, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate all the ways we’re becoming.

      (Hugh returns a chirp and a mew. He’s quite happy with the new setup.)

  2. Karen on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Love this Lorraine! The most accurate description of perfectionism I have heard. Made me squirm a bit … touching the truth always does that … renders it too visible to step over and ignore.

    • Lorraine on March 18, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Nothing like a good squirm, eh Karen. I’m certainly doing my share with this in my awareness and new situations arising.

Letters From Home

Personal handcrafted notes delivered straight to your inbox

Get the details on emails, preference settings and privacy

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.