I had a client who launched a small online fashion business. It’s got followers from all over the country maybe even the world. She’s cool, hip, and has a unique voice in the fashion world. My client also works as a waitress to pay her bills. She’s good at waitressing and recently got promoted to manager.
When I sit with my client she laments that she hasn’t achieved her dreams, that she is too unmotivated to start her business, that she is filled with anxiety as she wonders when she will ever get her act together. Recently she told me that she was out for drinks and a woman she didn’t know found out who she was. The other woman said “oh my god, you are (lets call her Mary) Mary from (lets call her business Goldenrod) Goldenrod? I’ve been following you for years”.
This comment left my client in a cunundrum … was she already who she wants to be? Could she possibly be that business owner and hip, cool chick that she has dreamed of becoming? Is she, in her mind, actually equal to all the other fashionistas who have launched their own online businesses whom she admires and even envies?
I suggested that instead of saying she is a waitress she begin saying she’s Mary founder of Goldenrod. My client had all kinds of reasons why this was not possible … and then she relaxed and we began our deeper discussion.
We explored the idea of perfectionism and how it can take away from real achievements. Many times perfectionists are so focused on a particular outcome that they lose sight of the smaller incremental achievements they have already made. These smaller achievements, when acknowledged can help fuel future growth and motivation. It’s a positive feedback loop and it’s a big part of the satisfaction of achievement.
So, if you are feeling stuck with a particular project or vision, take stock on what you’ve already done. You may realize that you are much closer to your dreams than you realize.