Perfectionism and Self-doubt in Work & Branding: Why Won’t My Jedi Mind Tricks Fix This Right Now?

by | May 23, 2022 | Wisdom Over Toxicity

Hello, all you wonderful women and womxn! It’s another Monday here at FSW and I’m working on the upcoming program materials so they can get out into the world. It’ll be the first program I’ve developed specifically in a business, and I’m stumbling on two of my own patterns: perfectionism and self-doubt. This weekend didn’t help either…

I’ve noticed a LinkedIn upgrade was needed. So, I was trying to bump up my game by updating my profile headshot and other marketing images and messages. I liked my previous photo overall, but it was outdated, and you all need to see the me you’re dealing with today. Makes sense, right?

Day One: Facing the Shadows of Perfectionism and Self-doubt

Now, I’ll fully confess: I loathed about 98% of the photos my loved one took yesterday. It’s not their fault…it’s really me. I won’t go into the depths of why I was struggling so much in this post. I tend to share more with the FSW Circle because it’s more private and direct. Anyway, what’s funny is that this photo will most likely get updated in the future as the program and my community keeps expanding.

Honestly, I was trying to just fake it. Canned smiles are not my thing—ask my family from the prom-era (ew), graduation buddies, and any other major event photographer I’ve met over the years. I just feel…fake. I was really trying to Jedi mind trick my brain into “looking and feeling confident,” but I was even being shy with my own damn self on what I was attempting to do.

So, What Was the Big Deal?

  • The tide was way out there and I’m a petite person: it makes for a photography challenge in the foreground.
  • Went somewhere else and there were people everywhere at the boat launch and park, which was uncomfortable.
  • The lighting was ok, but I felt all sorts of squinty in the usually non-existent Washington sunlight.
  • It’s been a Hella few weeks with caretaking the dog and managing projects, and I look and feel kind of worn out.
  • Can I get a, “Mhmmm,” from anyone else who looks at their closet and struggles with the “image they’re trying to portray” and the desire to be authentic?
  • Finally, we won’t even go into working remote for two+ years with the pandemic and getting a wee bit cozier.

By the end of an hour or two of trying to capture any photos that I felt could at least work for now, I had it. When jumping back into the vehicle, wanting to eschew all people, image-building clothes, and all branding tactics, I told my loved one: “I want to go home, have a glass of wine, and be in my yoga pants.” Check, check, and check, plus a messy bun for the grand finale.

Day Two: Accepting Our Shadows and History, Then Moving Forward

As we’re sitting here together today, I found a quote that comes from one of my favorite books:

“Our healing is not just for ourselves, it is for the universe.” ~Rita Pitka Blumenstein

Noted, Great Mother… Right, as usual.

Again, I won’t go into my own patterns and struggles with image here, but the lesson is definitely present, and I pondered:

  • What am I trying to control?
  • Does my image matter or how does it not matter?
  • What am I trying to make absolutely perfect that doesn’t need to be?
  • My own self-doubts aside, how can I help women that may be struggling with a similar thing?

I can definitely go into a spiral of self-doubt even further, but I just had to put a stop to it yesterday. Also, I need to make sure that I don’t swing so far the other way and go into perfectionism mode, because that doesn’t help either. So, how do we balance the two and be our authentic and whole selves in the process? Let’s chat about that next.

Day Three and Beyond: What Counts in the Big Picture of the Work We Do?

By now you’re probably realizing, even before me, photos just aren’t my thing right now. I deeply enjoy writing (hence the blog) and talking with people and relating (hence the upcoming program and future podcast). But branding and imagery is 100% out of my comfort zone. Still…you all are worth it.

I also had to reframe this experience: when I unpack my healing it can feel overwhelming sometimes. In low points, I’d even wonder: how can I continue to coach women about perfectionism and self-doubt, for instance, when I struggle with it myself?

It’s called honoring our lived experience, connection, authenticity, and a whole host of other adventures.

And what it boils down to is loving one another in the highs and the lows, literally like the tide. From there, we can remember the Big Picture of why we’re here and refocus on our purpose, legacy, and our “why.”

Marinate on that this week and if you ever need some encouragement, I’ve got you, because I go through it myself. This is just one more case study out of a lifetime of experiences, my friends. And, yes, I’m writing to you now in my flannel top and yoga pants with a messy bun. Had to recharge myself somehow and let you also see part of the “real me” that is here at FSW, in the program, and online.

That’s it for this week! If you’re looking for more direct updates on the FSW world and want a more direct connection, check out the FSW Circle. Want more independent research? Hit up the FSW Quiz. And if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Chat with you soon!