Perfection is the biggest killer of both creativity and productivity. I experience this on a daily basis. Staring at a blank page when trying to write a blog post because I want the first line to be perfect, or fiddling with filters and captions for an age, trying to make that Instagram post perfect.
The problem with this is that you lose your authenticity – what makes you individual. You start comparing yourself to others… In the world of social media, everybody’s life is ‘perfect’. You rarely see a selfie of someone lying on the sofa with bed-head and zits on show – but that’s real life.
I know that when I’m making connections online, or trying to decide whether to purchase something from someone online, I’m much more attracted to people who are authentic. When someone makes a mistake and has a laugh about it, it shows me that they are real human-beings and don’t take themselves too seriously. One of the best examples I can think of is Erin May Henry of The May Collective. On her YouTube videos, she regularly includes a reel of bloopers. Not only are these funny, it makes her more relatable and as you can see by the tens of thousands of subscribers she has, it clearly works!
It’s sometimes hard to be yourself online, because you open yourself up to criticism. If someone criticises the person you are pretending to be, it doesn’t hurt as much as if they criticise the real you – but then I could argue that if you are putting yourself out there online, you should expect criticism and develop a very thick skin – fast.
It is also extremely hard to pretend to be perfect on a long-term basis. If your ‘perfect’ image slips, just once, you will lose all respect from any following you have built. Being yourself is so much easier! Allow yourself to make mistakes publicly… Someone else might learn from your mistake and thank you for it!
There might be people out there that will absolutely hate the real you – but I guarantee, for every person who dislikes the real you, there will be someone who loves the real you.