Perfectly Imperfect – Doing it Scared

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring.”  – Marilyn Monroe


DSC_0021-206x300I wonder if you recognize a woman like this – a woman who HAS to get it right – whatever IT happens to be.  IT has to be bigger and better and more perfect or else it’s shelved about 7/8ths of the way through because IT just doesn’t feel right, or the shine has worn off, or another idea popped into her head, so IT never gets finished – this woman ends up with dozens of ideas and projects almost complete, but not quite, eventually creating feelings of overwhelm and inadequacy.

Moving forward is virtually impossible and she wonders why she never fulfills her Potential or gets any closer to her dreams, even though her talent and passion is blatantly obvious.  Fact is, Perfectionism is brutal!  It’s sits comfortably alongside its companions criticism and comparison – a combination that creates Paralysis!!


I know how it feels

To be perfectly honest that’s a pretty accurate description of the woman I used to be, but thankfully NO more – I’ve donned a new persona – that of an Imperfectionist, and I can’t begin to tell you how much of a relief that feels.


Getting something done to a point of completion ready or not is so much better than putting it off and waiting to do it perfectly – and truthfully it’s so often just an excuse NOT to take action – it’s actually a way of keeping safe – it might just be too scary – what if  people actually like it?  What if they prefer consistently good to inconsistent  ‘almost perfect’ – it’s all a matter of perception anyway –

[bctt tweet=”Perfection is an Illusion – it isn’t even attainable. ” username=”SallyCanning”]

Some peeps are going to love what you do and others won’t – and hey, that’s life – get over it!


“Your imperfections are what make you perfect.”  Steven Monaco


Do it scared

[bctt tweet=” Doing it scared and imperfectly allows you to create in the moment with no comparisons, ” username=”SallyCanning”]


nothing to match up to, it give you the freedom to turn whatever you’re doing into play, without fear of judgement, and it can be so much fun.  It allows you to focus on the activity itself rather than obsessing about the outcome – you can tweak, change and really be fluid.  What I’m learning  is that it’s good to see yourself and what you do as a “Work in Progress” – people prefer you to step up to the mark and share your passion rather than hide it away.  And, taking my newsletter and blog as an example, I have so much freedom these days, sometimes I have no idea what I’m going to say,  then I start, somehow it flows, and half the time I don’t know when to stop.


Sooo,  Go do it:


1. Choose one thing that scares you to start because you might not get it right


2.  Set yourself a timer for 50 minutes


3.  Walk away from your screen now and spend 50 minutes doing whatever it is you’d like to get done right now


4.  Repeat no.3 again tomorrow


5.  Repeat no.3 again the following day, and the next, until the task is done.


6.  Celebrate your completion – doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – a coffee shop date, flowers, something that makes you smile …. mark this milestone in an affirming way for you.


7. Go back to no.1 and start all over again.


Take it from this recovering perfectionist – this can be quite revolutionary – there’s a good chance you’ll see life and your capabilities in a very different way.


How could you practice being perfectly imperfect?  Begin today … and please come back and share how that feels for you




  1. Penny on October 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Sally! Love your web – it gives me inspiration in so many ways! Just want to tell you about “our time” that my husband and I had last week with two very dear friends. We went away to two little self catering cottages in an amazing setting in the “Litle Karoo”, overlooking the river and valley below and the mountains far away. We ate together, but otherwise did what we each wanted – walking, reading, knitting, sleeping etc. There was no cel phone or Internet reception and for four whole days it was wonderful. We have all come back totally refreshed. Kind regards, Penny, Hermanus, South Africa

  2. Sally Canning on October 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Wow Penny, that sounds absolutely idyllic, thank you so much for sharing. And thank you for your kind words, it’s wonderful to know that what I do makes a difference. Enjoy your new energy

  3. Jane on October 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I just wanted to thank you for your words of encouragement and wisdom! I love when i see an e.mail from you in my in box – and you know they always say just what I need to hear! Coincidence? I don’t think so!! many thank yous Jane

  4. Sally Canning on October 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you Jane, so glad you are happy to receive my emails.
    Isn’t it funny how we always get exactly what we need at precisely the right time?

  5. Pat Anderson on October 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    My daughter took a photograph of a scrappy piece of paper that had been pinned to my noticeboard for … ever and made a beautiful wall hanging. It is now hanging in my kitchen and each time I pass it, I am reminded of the words of Nelson Mandela …

    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous, fabulous?” Actually, who are we not to be. You are a child of God. your playing small doesn’t serve the world. … And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear ourpresence automatically liberates others.

  6. Sally on October 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Such a powerful quote Pat, thank you x

  7. Claudia Walker on October 29, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    It is lovely to “read” you on a regular basis. How you find the time to write, it can only be that all these words are just flowing through you effortlessly!

    Much love this autumn as ever
    Claudia xx

    Claudia Walker Acupuncture and Massage Tel. 0782 634 9516

  8. Sally on October 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you Claudia. Lovely to hear from you x

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.