10 questions recovering perfectionists (aka highly ambitious creative entrepreneurs) need to ask themselves

I felt like a failure. We poured weeks and weeks of time and energy and wisdom and intentionality into it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but because of all we had put in, I had a subconscious expectation that things would go perfectly.


The problem with us recovering perfectionists is that we think doing = instant success. We think, “It has to work!” Because we’ve tried so hard. And when we don’t hit that 100% mark, a 94% feels like you’ve failed.


Instead of celebrating and rocking a 94%, I walked away from the situation beating myself up.


In a few hours’ time, I got over it. I realized the error of my ways…


The error had nothing to do with the thing itself and everything to do with how I wrongly view myself sometimes. How I wrongly believe lies. How I wrongly measure my success. How I wrongly attribute my goodness and worthiness by judging how well I’ve done.  


The truth is…


My worth is not dependent on my sometimes skewed definition of success.


Your worth is not dependent on your success.


Let me say that again. Maybe another way…


Regardless how much money you make (compared to her or your old self), how many people follow you on Instagram (compared to her or your old self), how many clients you book (compared to her or your old self), how many adventurous or luxurious vacations you take (compared to her or your old self)…



(Even when you make mistakes.)


You are important.

(Even when no one notices you.)


You are talented.

(Even when you feel like you could have done better.)


You are one of a kind.

(There is literally no one else like you.)


These are words a recovering perfectionist needs to hear. Not because we need to be buttered up. Not because we’re fishing for compliments.


But because sometimes, we accept lies when we’re feeling vulnerable and inadequate. If you desire to be seen + acknowledged, I pray you really hear me. I pray truth washes over your soul and seeps into all the nooks + crannies that need it most.


We didn’t dream big dreams and start creative businesses so we could pour hours and years of our hearts + lives into it all only to judge our tiniest missteps or how we fall short. We dream big dreams and breathe life into these business babies of ours because we feel called to. We make intentional, conscious decisions, based on foundational truths…


We are worthy. We have the freedom + capability to pursue our ideas and patch them together, rework them, uniquely, with our hearts, minds, personalities + talents to create something literally no one else ever could. Seriously, wow. How incredible!


And so, we start! We’re excited! We’re on that honeymoon high!


But, this is when + where the recovering perfectionists get it wrong. This is where I, too, need to open my eyes…


It’s not about where we’re going, because who knows if we’ll ever get there the way we think we’ll get there.


It’s about how we respond + react and show ourselves + others grace. How we keep an open mind to constructive criticism. How we shift course when we need to. How we give all we have, no matter who else is doing what, no matter how amateur or expert we feel. How we dust ourselves off. How we celebrate a 94% even though we secretly hoped to hit 100%.


Our success lives in the how, not the where.


Your worthiness remains the same, no matter what.


I get it. I fully, truly understand. I see you, standing there, feeling small.


That’s why I wanted to share something with you. What’s written below isn’t a Band-Aid. These aren’t quick fixes. Quite the opposite, really. These questions are hard to answer. They’re going to make you get real with yourself. They’re going to encourage you to accept yourself and accept that perfectionism is a dirty lie of a myth that has no place inside your heart, mind or business.


10 questions recovering perfectionists (aka highly ambitious creative entrepreneurs) need to ask themselves:


  1. What do you really want?
  2. What does this extra pressure (these expectations) do for you + your clients?
  3. What are the truths you need to hear?
  4. Why is it important for you to achieve, be praised or “make it”?
  5. Who are you trying to impress?
  6. What are you trying to prove?
  7. Who are you comparing yourself to?
  8. What good does it do you to compare yourself to her?
  9. How are you measuring your success?
  10. How do you want to be measuring your success?


Like I said…this isn’t light reading or thinking. But, you know why it’s worth it? Because it is so vitally important for you to know where you stand. For you to understand your beauty. For you to fully grasp how wonderful + worthy you are.


So, next time you fall short of the expectations you have of yourself, stand tall. Wear that 94% with honor. Because no one, no one, could have done it like you. And that in itself is worth celebrating. You are worth celebrating.



Comments 12

  1. Great post! I find myself asking questions 9 and 10 a lot lately as I move my business from Hawaii to San Diego and need to assess what my goals are and what is important to me personally and profesionnally!

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    So glad this resonated with you, Brittney! Yes, I think 9 and 10 are two of the most important questions! Oh, and welcome to SAN DIEGO!!!!

  3. Oh this has been such a good read for me today. As I near the end of the busy part of my wedding season, I am struggling to find a good work life balance, and struggling to feel successful in any of my roles as mother, wife, phtoogrpaher, friend,

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    Marie! You are working your booty off! Your people love you for you. You are talented. You are kind. And I’m guessing you’re doing an incredible job. I’m rooting for you during this crazy season of life!! xo

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    Ooooh…good way to put it, Kayla. It is a trap. Break free, girl! Sending some extra love + prayers your way! xo

  6. This is such an important message, especially for someone just starting a business. It’s HARD not to get caught up in IG followers and client lists and money. This conversation goes hand in hand with our mental and physical well-being. Love it, keep spreading this goodness!

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    Thank you, Libby! Totally agree…has so much to do with our overall well-being! Thanks for reading!

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