Perfection is Fear in High Heeled Shoes

…and we all know that the devil wears Prada.

I can’t take all the credit for that clever headline because I borrowed it from Elizabeth Gilbert, but it’s so fitting. Perfection is the sugar-coated cousin of fear but make no mistake, it’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the bow on top of the blade and our biggest frenemy. Saying you’re a perfectionist is glorified because it screams, “I won’t stop until something is perfect.” But it also means, “if I can’t be perfect, why do it at all?”


Have you ever had an idea or started something and in the beginning you thought, “this is amazing – I could do this forever” or “this is the coolest idea, I can’t wait to share it with the world.” And then DUN, DUN, DUNNNNN… that little thing called perfection showed up? She starts stomping her pretty little Louboutin’s all over your amazing ideas. She starts telling you it’s not a good enough idea or there’s someone way better at it than you. Then you shelve whatever it was that you started and close the lid on your dream jar because you don’t think you can do it.

This is a God damn tragedy, and it happens to us all!

I try to write a lot about self-worth and defining it for yourself so that you can live this untethered life unattached to the idea of what you “should” be. I remember times in my life thinking my life would be so much better if – if I was thin. If I had more money. If I had a boyfriend. If I lived in a cool city.

CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. Here come those heels of perfection headed my way.

This all boils down to fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of what’s on the other side. Fear that I may not be good enough. Fear of what others will think. Fear of _____ (fill in your own blank).

The conjoined idea that happiness is earned through perfection is so ludicrous. If we can’t be perfect then we don’t really deserve to be truly happy. Right?


You don’t have to be perfect to be happy, but you do have to make a choice to be happy. You have to choose to let go – Elsa style. You have to let go of that space in your head where the perfect idea of yourself exists.  There’s no pin drop for destination perfection. It’s just a never ending treadmill where you’ll always be chasing something unobtainable.

Whatever it is that you’re afraid to do – just do it. Try it. If it makes you happy, REALLY happy then it’s the right thing to do.

I admit that I’m a work in progress. I have to work really hard to rewrite those fear narratives that popped a squat in my brain so many years ago. I try to do things that push me from my comfort zone like writing this blog and sharing it with you. I was scared to share it and afraid to open up, but I’m so glad I did. I know this is not Pulitzer Prize winning content, but that’s not the point. It makes me feel good to share it and my hope it that it makes you feel good too.

I hope you’ll let go of those ideas of perfection that hold you back from whatever it is you want to do. It’s never too late.

As the wise Dr. Seuss once said,

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

You only have one life, so love your imperfect and beautiful self!

About author View all posts

Vicki Kotris

Vicki is a Cleveland native, cupcake enthusiast and self-proclaimed karaoke rockstar who survives on Starbucks and sprinkles. Saleslady by day and doting dog mom by night. Ambitions include meeting Oprah, seeing the Indians win the World Series and finishing all 100 things on the Cleveland Scene Bucket List. Follow her at

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Great advice! People should try whatever interests them and enjoy it. I am glad that during my life I took advantage of my Cleveland Public School education to take Tayloring in sewing class and made a fully tailored spring coat when I was 15, foods class and still love trying new recipes from various cookbooks, (including Vegan for my granddaughter), my interest in photography, etc. No one should set limits on what they can do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *