Thursday, May 26, 2016

How I Recently Overcame the Need for Perfection


In his LinkedIn Riches course (which I highly recommend), John Nemo suggests you create a head-shot “About Me” video introducing yourself and place it at the bottom of your LinkedIn Summary section. It’s a terrific way for people to get to know you better because they can watch you describe the type of work you do, the audience you serve and what you offer.

When I heard about this idea, I thought it would be fairly straightforward. Boy, was I wrong!

I wholeheartedly agreed with his recommendation but kept putting it off. I had all kinds of excuses…It would be a hassle to set up the lighting, microphone and camera…I wasn’t sure what kind of message would resonate with my current and potential connections…I was concerned about how I’d come across.

All that thinking boils down to fear that the video (and therefore, I) would fall short of the ideal. Of course, this “ideal” was something that I had conjured up in my head and did not exist in reality.

My procrastination was a form of PERFECTIONISM.

For me perfectionism means having ridiculously high standards and being afraid to take action due to a fear of failure or criticism from others.

I realized that I was holding myself to standards that I would never think to impose on anyone else.

I finally took the plunge and made the commitment to get the video done immediately.

I like planning and structure, so I drafted a script that would serve as my guide. Unfortunately, I did not USE it as a guide. I actually tried to memorize the whole thing and practiced it numerous times to get the words and tone right. Not a good idea!

Day 1 - CHALLENGES

I enlisted my husband Lee to set up the lighting and use his camera to record the video. He is a mechanical genius, so that was smart teamwork.

When I did earlier headshot videos a few years ago, I recorded them by myself. I didn’t anticipate how self-conscious I’d feel with Lee standing behind the camera. I got distracted by thoughts of him evaluating me as I spoke (totally unfounded since I know how much he loves me) and forgot what I wanted to say next, so I had to stop and restart several times.

Another reason I stumbled over my lines was due to trying to recall and repeat the script verbatim instead of speaking from the heart.

Then we ran into technical challenges with the camera. No problem. Lee has a second one. Ha! We had issues with that one, too. That meant stopping so he could investigate the problems.

By the time he was ready, we were both mentally tired and decided to postpone the shoot until the next day.

Day 2 – SUCCESS!

The next morning I got up early so I could process the events of the previous day and figure out how to ensure a smooth recording this time.

Thinking and reflecting worked.

I had 3 insights that gave me just what I needed.

1. I realized I was taking this project WAY too seriously!

That was a huge ah-ha. When we’re in the middle of something we’ve deemed important, we tend to take ourselves very seriously – and expect the same from others.

I committed to having FUN so I could enjoy the preparation and recording process.

Big thanks to Jason Goldberg and Steve Chandler for their inspiration to take a more playful approach to everything in life with their writings and The-Not-So-Serious Life Web TV show!


2. I took a few minutes to visualize myself being relaxed and confident in my delivery.

I knew what I wanted to communicate. I just needed to calm down and remember that I was connecting with one person at a time, just like in a 1-1 conversation.

3. I gave up memorizing the script and simply outlined the key points I wanted to make.

This approach allowed me to focus on the natural flow of my words and allowed me to speak more smoothly.

I’m happy to report that I was able to record the video in the FIRST take that morning.

It’s now in my Summary section, and I’ve included it below in case you’d like to see how it turned out (3:19 minutes).


Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever had a project that you took too seriously and what you did to get past your fears to complete it.

1 comment:

  1. Perfection is an attitude that we have own in our personality. So that we can do things better and perfect; apart from that we also put our full dedication to develop things; which shows our perfection. But in most of the occasion being perfection is not an issue if we are not getting enough in return. Involvement is good but without any output involvement is worthless. So it is quite better to skip running behind perfection and prove our-self; we should be more practical and realistic in life.
    Personal Growth

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