I’ve recently realised my perfectionism is connected to fear – fear of looking silly, being foolish, being rejected, etc. It shows up in a wide variety of aspects of my life, often stopping me from doing something or even starting something.
This led me to examining how I start or learn new habits or skills as I am far from perfect at the start (or ever frankly). Habit forming often requires me to focus on quantity (waking up earlier each day, # of days I walk or run each week, days with sugar, days I write for 20 minutes, etc.). Habits tend to be formed through repetitive actions (learning often happening similarly). Obviously, there are good and bad habits and unlearning behaviours is very difficult, but far too often we use this as an excuse not to try, to start, to do things ‘badly’ so we are creating the habit of learning and give ourselves the opportunity to learn how to do it a bit better each day.
With my children, I celebrate them learning to walk, building lego planes, drawing trains, writing their letters even if they are terrible at it because they are learning new skills, they are exploring, and they will get better. One day they will be running, their blocks of lego might actually look like a plane, the scribbles turn into a recognisable train, and I will be able to read words they have written. But this will only happen if they do it badly first and practice (which is another way of saying repetitive action).