At a three-day intensive professional development retreat for building my coaching business, we were digging into what could get in our way of achieving our goals. I was faced with the sticky and constricting tentacles of perfectionism. For me, perfectionism is represented by the dark dwelling pacific octopus.

Perfect Octopussy, as I fondly named this saboteur of mine, likes to wrap her way around my chest to keep me from moving forward any time I am about share something out in the public like a Facebook Live, newsletters [yes, even now she wants to come crawling out of the cave to say hello while I write this], or when I am just speaking to others about what it is that I do.  I even had a stuffed animal octopus as a tangible reminder to not get sucked in by perfectionism.

The issue I have with this saboteur is that she has some long, tenacious tentacles that have been part of my life since I was a very young child.

During the retreat, I did not know how to detach from the suck of her perfectionism. I found myself sitting in the hotel room for 90 minutes trying to prepare a topic to share on Facebook live. I think I made four drafts for what would end up being a 2-minute video. I had a moment when I looked at the situation, kind of like an out-of-body experience, and I knew that she was sucking the joy out of this experience.

I knew perfectionism had gotten a hold of me, yet, I couldn't detach myself. Her grip was tight. It was in that moment, this Perfect Octopussy needed to die!  I was terrified of doing it alone though. I knew I needed the support of my community and those who loved me. So instead of destroying her, I stuffed her into the top drawer to get her out of sight. I let go of the idea that I was going to complete my task at hand for the evening. I set it aside. I called my boyfriend. I gave myself permission to let it go for the night versus trying to push through and waste a lot of energy trying to create a perfect speech [btw…who wants to even listen to a perfect speech on Facebook live?… that's the whole point, be messy, be vulnerable and be yourself, right?] 



Have you ever been sucked in by perfectionism? If so, please respond back with a Yes or No, and if you want, share a little tidbit about what that feels like for you.  

All the best in this messy and imperfect world,

Taryn Laakso
Unlocking Your Potential





Taryn Laakso
UnLaaking Your Potential, LLC