Most teachers have a perfectionist streak in us. Whether it comes from the ever-present possibility of being observed, or truly wanting to be perfect for our kids all the time, or just because it’s an innate character trait, it’s there. Today we’re talking about ways perfectionism is holding you back, in teaching and as an edupreneur, and how to start to move past it.
You’ve got to start somewhere
Think about the first time you stepped into a classroom as a teacher. You were bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to change the world. Then the kids got there, and everything went to hell.
Okay, so maybe it didn’t go to hell, but I’d venture to guess that not everything went to plan. I’d bet that your first year of teaching brought about its fair share of tears and doubts, and that if you were to watch a video of yourself teaching back then, you’d laugh (or cry) about much of what you see.
You can’t get better if you never start.
Here’s the thing; You’re a better teacher now because you were an okay teacher back then. You wouldn’t be as skilled, practiced, and knowledgeable now if you hadn’t started out being new, naive, and fakin’ it ‘til you made it.
Now, as a veteran teacher with almost 2 decades of experience, I know that if I try something new in my classroom, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time out of the gate. If it flops, it flops. I can tweak it or I can chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.
Business is the same way.
If you’re not embarrassed by your first iteration, you waited too long.
Let’s just ignore the fact that there’s really no such thing as perfect.
If you’re a crafter, the first craft you ever made probably looked okay. Not great. Certainly not perfect. But you did it anyway. And not only that, you likely still have that okay craft proudly displayed in your home.
Business, like anything else, requires practice. You’re not going to be perfect out of the gate. You’re going to be okay. And it’s okay to be okay. You have to be okay before you get to awesome.
And remember that your okay is someone else’s awesome!
Letting go of perfectionism and embracing yourself as an imperfect edupreneur
First we have to acknowledge what perfectionism really is. Fear. You’re trying to be perfect because you’re afraid that you’re not smart enough. You’re afraid you’re not talented enough. Or you’re afraid you’re just not enough… enough.
If we allow ourselves to get bogged down and sucked into the quagmire of perfectionism you will never be able to share your message with the world. And if you have something of value to add to the conversation – and I believe you do – then your perfectionism is preventing people from hearing that message.
The pursuit of perfection is a waste of time. It is a waste of your talents. It is a waste of your message.