Is perfectionism holding you back?

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

March 1, 2011


I once had a reader confide in me that she never posted her layouts to online galleries, for fear they were not good enough.

It is understandable yet problematic that we can let good enough truly be enough when it comes to our homes, our kids and our jobs… but not our photography and memory keeping. When it comes to ourselves, we can get really stubborn.

Healthy perfectionism helps you achieve great things and stay motivated, but perfectionism on the side of unhealthy keeps you paralyzed and feeling out of control.

  • Do you spend more time organizing than scrapbooking?
  • Do you let your insecurities prevent you from getting started?
  • Do you not share your work out of fear or embarrassment?

The net effect of unhealthy perfectionism is lost opportunities. By spending time obsessing and not-doing, you take away time from memory making. By letting fear keep you stagnant, you prevent making progress in the stories you want to document. By hiding from the beauty of imperfection, you risk the inner growth that comes from making friends and gaining support from your peers.

Let’s spend some time discussing this topic today. Has perfectionism ever held you back? Share your story and any tips for helping cope with these feelings. I can’t wait to read your comments!

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7 Comments

  1. Jean Manis

    I’m a “recovering” perfectionist – and a daughter of a perfectionist. I’ve let perfectionism hold me back in innumerable ways. What’s helped me fight perfectionism to taking action and allowing myself to “play” with a layout. I don’t expect it to be finished on one try. I try to get rid of preconceived expectations about the layout before I start. And I use templates to set the foundation for my layouts as that is the most stressful aspect of scrapbooking to me – where to put what on the page.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Play definitely helps. If you hate the end result, it can be ditched. I know, for every new template I release, there is one that went in the trash.

      Reply
  2. Nat

    I am a total perfectionist. I have layouts on my blog where every square inch of the page is covered and there is the exact right amount of space (in millimeters) between each object.

    Truthfully, the perfectionism thing almost kept me from starting my blog. I was worried about what people were going to think of my layouts because I kind of march to the beat of my own scrapbook drum. The blog and having my layouts public does force me to not cut corners and to stop being lazy, I think my stuff is the better for it! It’s forcing me to branch out.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Nat, you seem like a great example who has turned her perfectionism into a healthy thing. Like I wrote in this week’s newsletter, we don’t need any more excuses for being lazy!

      Reply
  3. Karen

    I’ve had scrapbook paper sitting around for 10 years because I was too terrified that it wouldn’t look right. I was so thrilled to discover digital scrapbooking about a year ago. I still struggle with the pages “not being right” but I love the templates available now. I’ve discovered that I am a “simple layout” kinda chick. One of my personal goals this year is to do 1-2 pages a week.

    Karen

    Reply
  4. Norma

    You nailed me with the spending more time organizing than scrapbooking! I’ve always had perfectionistic tendencies, but I never associated it with not being able to actually get anyscrapbooking done, but I think you’ve opened my eyes- thanks! Now just to work on overcoming it!

    Reply
  5. Tammy

    I’m not sure I would classify myself as a perfectionist but I absolutely kept my projects and layouts to myself for a long time thinking they didn’t compare to projects the scrapbook designers create. I finally came to realize that when you hold back out of fear, you deny yourself all the gifts that come with sharing. Even if what you do isn’t perfect, if there’s one person out there that can be touched or inspired by something you created, it’s worth putting it out there.

    Reply

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