How Trying To Do Something Perfectly Gets In The Way Of Doing Anything

Take this article, as an example. I resist writing it. Not because I am incapable or don’t want to connect with you but because I feel pressure to write something profound – to not be annoying – to not cross that imaginary, deeply personal, line where over-sharing lives – to be authentic, insightful… oh, and, of course, succinct. To be original, positive enough to not bypass, practical enough to be useful – and to neatly connect everything with the subject of career.

It’s as if there’s this ideal version of me who feels she has to perform at 100% even when I’m not there. And to her, a less than perfectly written haiku or short story or whatever – isn’t good enough.

A masterpiece.

Every article has to be a masterpiece.

Every. Three. Weeks. 

And I can’t do it.

I can start out with mini masterpieces – bits of writing that I feel proud of. But those take hours, literally. And most of us don’t have the luxury of this kind of time.

So today I’m showing up because I said I would. I’ve been notoriously inconsistent with these love notes :D, and this year I said it would be different. I committed to writing every three weeks for one year. April rolled around and the resistance has been epic ever since. I spend more time trying to give myself permission to not write the next newsletter, than it takes to write it. 

Somehow spring sprung and this commitment I’d made became negotiable.

But it isn’t.

Because it’s a commitment.

Which means I have to lay down the trying to be “on” at all times, and striving to create perfect works of written art – because this really sucks the fun out of the experience.


Creates resistance.

The parts of me that, today, are groggy and worrying and in need of long naps don’t have the ability to Push creativity out of me. 

And the whole idea of pushing or forcing goes against everything I stand for because it doesn’t work. It’s not healthy for our bodies or our brains, and and and … I – and you – are enough as we are. 

[Plus… if I’m writing about human nature or self-awareness or anything on the self-development spectrum – then I’m writing about career. Because we all take our selves to work.]

I want to be able to show up here as I am. At the heart of my work with others is creating a space where people can show up as they are, no matter who they are in that moment – it’s all ok. 

We all need spaces where we can be Us. 

And I need to give myself more permission to do that here.

So farewell masterpieces and welcome quick sketches, rough drafts, and raw truths – and a trust that what I share will land in the right hearts at the right moments. That I can be me, and you can be you, and we’re all okay just as we are. 

That is what this space is for.

And this is needed more than any brilliant prose or unachievable attempts to get anything Right.

Life is messy, it’s not meant to be neat.

We’re messy, we’re not meant to be neat.

F**k neat, it’s too much pressure.

I’m being a stand for all of us to do what we say we’re going to do, as best we can. And to start believing and remembering – that that’s good enough.

What we have to offer in each moment… It’s good enough.

How does your desire to do something perfectly get in the way of you doing the things you want to do? Reply in the comments and let us know!

About the Author

Clara Chorley
Founder of Clarity Unlimited

Clara was born in England and launched Clarity Unlimited in San Francisco, California, during the 2009 recession.

Her mission is to help as many powerful women as possible get unstuck professionally, and move into positions where their power and influence fulfils them and benefits society in tangible ways.

Over the years, she’s continued to hone her skills and education, some qualifications include: Mental Health Facilitator certification, Organizational Diagnosis certification, CTI Fundamentals of Co-Active Coaching training, Voice Dialogue training and Advanced training, Group Facilitation Skills certification, BA Speech (communications), and MSc International Crime, Conflict & Criminology.

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