On the edge of a creative breakthrough, have you found yourself so spun up over the pursuit of perfection…that you simply…quit…?  Have you strangled a project in your death grip, afraid to let it be done, because it’s just not quite right?

The self-sabotage of perfectionism comes courtesy lofty perquisites based on advertising, avatars, and the assumption that our inner critic is right.  We should be able to do it all, round the clock and double-time to boot, right?  24/7/365.  Attack work like a warrior, teeth bared and taking no prisoners.  Parent with prescient perspective.  Rock our gym sessions with ab-tastic ruthlessness and buns of steel, knowing we can bust the equipment with a sideways glance.  And while we’re at it, social media every second of the whole shebang, on every platform simultaneously, with emoticons and one-of-a-kind memes that will make people go share-monster crazy.

No wonder stuff tumbles to a crashing halt.

The next time you find yourself in a compulsory “time out” – sitting among the shrapnel of nothing getting done – give yourself permission to “be”.

Be interested in yourself; especially your flaws and foibles.  Mistakes show us what we need to learn, and eccentricities pave the way for niche players.

Be honest with yourself; particularly about your talent and flair.  Focus on a few of the skills unique to you, and let your development of those areas intensify.

Be bold enough to opt-in; get back in the game, try and fail and try again until you get it done. Then let it go and go on to the next adventure.

Be authentic; “Please understand that it is okay and even very good for your mental health to unwind and be yourself.  No one can be you better than you.”[i]  And…when you get stuck, ask for help. Be perfectly willing to ask for help.

In need of an authenticity boost? Check out these 10 favorite quotes:

“If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive.  Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.” – Maurice Chevalier

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.  Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker

“To find yourself, think for yourself.” – Socrates

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human can fight; and never stop fighting.” – e.e. cummings

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” – Annette Funicello

“Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” – from The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Robert Edwin Lee and Jerome Lawrence

“I know of nothing more valuable, when it comes to the all-important virtue of authenticity, than simply being who you are.” – Charles R. Swindoll

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

“Be There!”  It’s a FISH! Philosophy thing.  You get it, you got it, go get ’em! Propellergirl

Deena Ebbert is Propellergirl. International Speaker, Inspirational Author, and Brand Ambassador of the FISH! Philosophy.

Art PROPS to Zach Stoppel of Ramen Empire

[i] P.E. Larson