It seems obvious and yet it wasn’t obvious to me: my perfectionistic mindset barriers halt my progress as a content creator (and human) every single day.
This post could be construed as a list of excuses but I prefer to frame it as a reflection. It’s more like I’m explaining the outcomes of a self discovery deep-dive that I took recently to get to the bottom of the guilt I feel for not posting on youseemnormal consistently like I used to. *Takes huge breath.* And feeling like I have nothing to say, don’t know how to say it, don’t know what to do don’t know how to function and stuff and such is life.
My perfectionism is my favorite barrier of all time. Of all the barriers, I really do love this one. It’s consistent and reliable and never fails to be an unstoppable barrier! Truly the best. The expectations I put on myself and the false beliefs I adhere to hammer in my head every time I think about writing or filming or brainstorming new ideas for youseemnormal. I am HALTd, SKRTd from doing anything writing related.
Over the past few months of a classic low-grade GUILT for not uploading or writing weekly like I used to, I said now wait, there are some recurring thoughts/beliefs I have that crop up every time I think about writing. So I took it upon myself to come up with these in my mind, then put the think to the ink.
Below I list the five beliefs I hold that are holding ME back from doing the things I want to do and create and be. As a content creator, perhaps you’ll relate to some of these beliefs, or be inspired to write down your own. As a human, same as previous sentence.
1. My creation (whatever it is) has to be “long” or “long enough.”
I can’t have a blog post that is two paragraphs. What’s the point? (Please note that these are the thoughts / beliefs quoted directly from in my head.) A YouTube video cannot be 1 minute long. It must be 8-10 minutes with research and graphics and broll. And please make sure to close caption it by hand.
2. My creation has to be seen or specifically asked for.
Why produce if no one watches or reads? Who am I helping? What’s the point?
3. My creation is only worthy if it’s novel.
It can’t be a dumbass idea like 3 ways to get up in the morning. I need to have NEW and GROUNDBREAKING information to share with the world. Otherwise I’m regurgitating things and then there’s no point.
4. My creation must be GOOD.
This one kinda sounds like #3’s worthy. But it’s different. Something can be worthy and not be good. My creation must be both. The product, whether a blog post or a video, must be good quality. The writing must be good, the flow must be good, etc. If it’s not good quality, then what’s the point? (I’m sure I don’t have to point this out, but by “good quality” I mean perfect.)
5. My creation has to be posted and promoted in a certain way.
The piece of content must follow a particular sequence of events. It must be promoted with 2-3 Instagram stories, 1 newsletter, 1 blog post and an accompanying video. Those must be done during the same week. Also, only fresh content (content you’ve created that week) can be posted. Otherwise you’ve lost your emotional attachment to the content and won’t want to promote it. It must have a thumbnail.
Admittedly, I’m re-reading these and they are the (Mindy Kaling voice here) laaaaamest rules I’ve ever seen. WOW. Those are (Mindy Kaling voice here) SO LAME. (This is not a direct Mindy quote, just a quote that could be a Mindy quote.)
My rules fit into two categories: one being unattainable and one being made-up. I like how none of the rules are “My creation is something I’m proud of” or “My creation was satisfying to make.” Nope.
Which brings me to my three options. Only advance to option one, two or three once you’ve named your beliefs. No, you don’t need to write them down. Damn perfectionists!
Option One: Write your talkbacks to each belief.
A talkback is what your logical self writes in response to the illogical belief. For example, one of my beliefs is “My creation is only worthy if it’s novel.” A talkback could be “My creation may not be novel in its core idea — aren’t all ideas just recycled and recycled again?!? — but it could be brand new to my audience, and how cool of me to bring them this content!”
Option Two: Craft some positive affirmations or mantras.
Positive affirmations or mantras are what you can recite back to yourself at any time… all the time!…. But specifically consider mantras crafted for creation. “I am creative.” “I have things to share.” This option may appear similar to option one, but they’re actually quite different. Option one is that logical, sense-making response to your beliefs. Option two is hyping yourself up for creation, affirming your self and abilities.
Option Three: THERAPPPPPYYYYYYYY.
Therapy is a space that can help you do some creative thinking about creation. (I know right?) Therapy helps me come up with behavioral ideas for myself. For example, I may bring my therapist my problem of “I don’t want to write when I have ideas but when I want to write I don’t have any ideas.” And Dude Therapist and I may brainstorm a strategy to try such as keeping sticky notes of things that have been interesting you lately and continue to add to the notes as more thoughts arise. In theory, you would have multiple sticky notes happnin’ at once, and when the creative bug hits, you already have something written.
(Okay, for my content creators out there, here’s another behavioral idea I brainstormed: Research little things that can help you immensely, such as googling “how to easily format blog posts.” These are things like how-to posts, 5 things you should know about ____, _____ Ranked, etc. Five minutes spent on learning formats of posts could help your writing process.)
I know a wrap-up would make this post OUTTA THIS WORLD but I’M just SO GLAD I’M FINALLY POSTING SOMETHING and am going to publish right NOW. Take care my friends
P.S. in case we haven’t met…
you seem normal is a mental health medium run by 24-year-old communication professional (hello!) who… well, seems normal. Turns out, my roommate is mental illness. Actually more like my unborn, and non-conceived baby. Because it’s like, inside of me. This is getting weird already. Topics of focus: self-awareness (we love it), mood, anger management, perfectionism, relationships & boundaries.