Perfectionism and the fear of failure

This post is dedicated to the end of the first half of the year.

This post is dedicated to the beginning of the second half of the year.

Also, I personally dedicate this post to all perfectionists.

Perfectionism could be recognized as a weakness. And most times, when people talk about it, they point accusatory fingers. Well, I’m not here to do that. Infact, I’m part of the community and I understand how it feels when fingers are pointed at you. You’re just being yourself, I understand.

I believe that perfectionism is more of a strength than a weakness; so we have to acknowledge the advantages and disadvantages, just like every other strength. I also believe that every one has a little degree of perfectionism, even if it’s just 1%.

You want every rumple straightened out, else you’re not stepping out of the door. Every single piece of dirt must be cleaned out; no grain left. English perfect, picture perfect, process perfect; yep, I have been there, I am there and would probably be there. It’s a beautiful thing to me; but one downside is the pressure it puts on those in our circle.

Let’s talk about a more pressing issue

One thing perfectionism promotes is the fear of failure. Because we want everything perfect, we’re scared of a little flaw/mistake/ setback and when we foresee the potential for a mistake, we take a step back. That “mistake” is a rumple that we want straightened out and when it refuses to straighten out, what do we do? Refuse to engage? Remain indoors?

Perfectionists are the greatest planners because we spend so much time planning and not putting it to action because of the fear of failure. It’s sad to think about how this fear makes us hide many talents from the world. People from the outside think we’re “making all the lines straight”, but deep within, we know this is a case of “should I or should I not?” and “what ifs”.

Sigh! Let me wash my dirty linen in public. Many people close to me know that I desire to take this “writing thing” a step further by writing a book (a sound book). So, for a while now, it’s only me has read this book that I’ve written and published inside my head. I don’t even understand how that is happening [inserts meme]😂😂. I entered this year and told myself that I must write that book this year. Here we are, halfway in, and I haven’t written jack! My people, don’t we serve a living God? [tears].

You’d think I’m planning for this book, but really, I’m just scared of public acceptance. And that’s what the fear of failure (associated with perfectionism) is all about. “Would they like it?”, “What if it tanks?”, “Lol, am I a good writer or is this all in my head?”, “But do people read this kind of story anymore?” And several other questions that have held me back from giving the world something beautiful.

Like Nike would say; “Just do it”

There are two sides of the coin of perfectionism: self satisfaction and public approval. I’d love to disagree that our “packaging” is all for the public. Some of us just “love to see it”. If I’m cleaning a place and it’s not perfect, I won’t rest until I get it to be. Then when I look at the place, I smile; I’m happy.

This is almost the same for the blog. I can confess that I have missed some posting days because something wasn’t “perfect”. We don’t know how to give out mediocre stuff. It itches our inner being.

Majority of perfectionists already have that self satisfaction. We know we do good and we love it. But also, WE KNOW that not everyone thinks like us, and we don’t know the odds of our acceptance. “What if those who don’t think like me own the higher percentage? Maybe 90:10?”

Sigh! Just DO IT!

It’s all in your head. You’re good! You know it, we know it, everyone knows it. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. What if, truly, it’s only the 10% that likes your stuff? Still give it to them.

If you don’t give it out; it remains in your head and you’ll never know what you need to improve on.

What you have to understand is that it can never be perfect. There are days you’d have to wear that rumpled cloth out, but that doesn’t change who you are —someone who likes things to look good and perfect. Criticisms will come and go, but then again, it’s extremely normal

Are you at the verge of giving up? Hey! I’m with you. Let’s reevaluate our goals and continue (or start, if you haven’t) through this remaining half of the year. Please, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

Above all, don’t forget to trust God and release yourself to let Him do good through you. Remember, we’re God’s masterpiece.

Can you relate? Have you been there and overcame? Are you there at the moment? Let’s share with each other in the comments section.

With all sweetness and inspiration

—Iyun

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6 thoughts on “Perfectionism and the fear of failure”

  1. Perfectionism is relative. Some people will like and adore it while some will criticise. I mean people will always talk. The best is to be yourself… Whether you’re a perfectionist or not. Be yourself and make improvements where necessary.

    “If you don’t give it out; it remains in your head and you’ll never know what you need to improve on.”
    I’d be waiting for ur book Ronnie 🙂
    Btw… Always remember, you’re a good writer. It’s not in ur head 🙂

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  2. I’m reminded of years ago, when “someone” accused me of being a perfectionist! 😁😁😁

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