Starting my first blog
As I lay here awake this morning thinking about my journey the last few months, I have a wonderful sense of joy and excitement. For those of you that don't know I have started my journey on the road to being the Confidence Coach. It has already enriched my life and the sense of purpose and drive it brings me is immense. Even in this short time, it has started a change in many and I appreciate hearing all the ways people have started their journey.
I also sit here and think to myself what should I write about for my first blog. How can I make the impact I need and desire? The whole reason I started this journey is to make a difference in this world. The driving force behind starting is to help change the mindset of the masses so we can all live in our own happy lives. Unshackled from fear and guilt. Relieved of anger and resentment. Feeling calm and brave facing the uncertainty of the future.
It's a pretty big dream right? A goal that could seem impossible when we look at it as a whole. How will I ever do this? It's too big? I'm just one man! I couldn't reach that level, could I? Well, my friends, these are all the self-imposed limiting beliefs we all face when we start a journey. We become overwhelmed by the grandeur of our dreams and just don't even start. It's less painful to not try. If we don't try, we don't have the pain of what failure can bring.
This brings me back to my first conundrum, what should I write about for my first blog!? With this big goal surely my first blog has to start big. In other words, my first blog has to be PERFECT. That's when it hit me. My first blog should talk about letting go of the need to be perfect. This is, for lack of a better word PERFECT!
The Need To Be Perfect
So many of us have this inner need to be perfect, I myself suffered with it. I, for as long as I remember have been highly competitive and driven to get to the highest level and be the best. ”That's not a bad thing!” you may say and yes you're right. It has been a wonderful tool on the path to achieving my goals. It was a strong factor in how much I studied my craft. It help me stay focused and energised. It got me where I needed to go. So yes don't get me wrong, having desire and drive is essential to creating anything in life. With enough desire and drive you can achieve anything so nurture that within you. what I ask is, when does it get to much? When does that pull from within to be the best actually become our biggest weakness? When we have to be perfect.
The desire to be the best and be perfect are close in nature. We have the danger of falling into the quest for perfectionism. We have to play the line so well or we end up hindering our development rather than nourishing it.
The flaw of being ”Perfect”
When we try to be perfect we are fighting a losing battle that we can never win. You see my friends there is no end on the journey to being perfect. It is impossible.
Some of you that know my story, know that I have performed on the West end stage for my entire career. It is something I'm very proud of and I enjoyed very much for the most part. The thing with that career and me was that my desire to be the best. It led me to play Frankie Valli in Jersey boys, it led to perfectionism. I want to tell you how perfectionism affected me so you know the detrimental side it brings.
It started off fine, I could handle the self-imposed pressure. I seemed to be getting on fine and adhering to my standards. I even thought it was good, it meant I cared enough about what I was doing.
I started changing many things in my life just so I could live up to my perfect standards. I wouldn't go socialise after the show. In the day I would leave friends early as I thought I had spoken too much. I started to accidentally distance myself from people as I became more insular. You see the drive for perfectionism had got into my head. Any little mistake I would berate myself about it and not let it go. I would test myself and voice constantly and started to affect my own happiness. It eventually led down the path to anxiety and mild depression. My life around me was also being affected. I just could not relax. I eventually suffered what some call in high-pressure jobs, burnout. Yes, my job had some pressure, you may even say high pressure but I promise you 99% of it was self-imposed. Although I was able to finish the job and do it to a high standard it wasn't good enough in my head and I felt unhappy. Though all around me where saying it was great I didn't believe them.
How did I make it change
Well my friends I have to tell you the hunt for perfectionism only derives from fear. Fear of not being good enough. We hide behind our banner of being perfect to mask that we are actually scared. When I took on the role the first time there was a lot of fear in me. I had let my brain run wild. Fans of the previous actor had said that I shouldn't be playing the role instead of him even though they hadn't even seen me do it. This was all before I even started. I had then decided to hide behind my perfectionism and prove them all wrong. Again this was just fear. Fear of failure and them being right, that I wasn't good enough.
I changed this by changing the story in my head. I started to make my story more powerful than anything they could say outside.
I started to tell myself, I am good enough. I would say it often. I would tell myself that I loved myself and that I deserved to feel good. I started to notice where my fears where showing up in my mind. I had got into the habit of living my biggest fears before they had even happened. So whenever I noticed myself going back to thinking fearful thoughts or speaking to myself badly I would stop and affirm a more positive affirmation. Something like.
”I love and approve of myself just as I am. Everything works out for me”
I had to break the habitual fear perfectionism had brought.
Accepting what I can't control
When you learn to accept what you can’t control you give yourself freedom and space. You LET GO. it is wonderfully freeing. You can put into motion as much as you can but you can never truly know the outcome. Accept this unknowing and embrace it. As much as things can go wrong, they can go right. You can't control everything so don't waste your energy.
Stepping back for a bit to have time and perspective is so powerful. Give yourself some space to re-evaluate what's important. You will find the things you were trying to control or do perfectly don't actually matter as much as you thought. Find the joy in the simple things and watch perfectionism fall away.
Facing your fears again
Whatever you are trying to do perfectly you inherently are fearful of in some way. Face this fear without trying to control every part of it. Yes, you may fail, so what, learn from it. It's never as bad as you think.
Learn to laugh at yourself
Don't take yourself too seriously. Own your insecurities and if you make a mistake laugh at yourself and move on. Learn from it but don't hold onto. Instant forgiveness is the key here. Have fun with life because it's amazing.
Returning to my job
I actually went back to Jersey Boys for a second time as Frankie Valli and having released all these fears and negative behaviours I have had the best time. I perform better, have more fun and most of all live with freeness in my whole life. It feels great.
So yes when I sat here thinking about what to write. I just began because I can now, knowing nothing is perfect and this good enough. It may not be perfect but it's good enough for me and I can learn from it.
Wherever in life, you are trying to be a perfectionist realise this is where you have the most fear and insecurities. Notice this and start to release it. It can be the way we look, work, relationships, parenting, you name it.. You will never be perfect and that's ok. You are doing your best and that is enough. Let go of the pressure because before you know it the time would have passed and you never enjoyed the moment.
Have a happy, kind and confident day guys
Check out my video on self and self talk
Self Love/Self Talk