Perfectionism Holding You Back?

Sometimes in the quest for perfection, I just end up stuck.

Back in April, when we were on vacation, I decided it was time to buy an awesome stencil kit I’d been eyeing for years. For whatever reason, my phone wouldn’t talk to to the website, and buying something just didn’t happen.

So I gave up my great idea until a month later when they were running a Mother’s Day sale–while they wouldn’t let me buy anything, they did add me to their email list. I was home, buying was simple, I picked up the kit and a few more fabulous stencils and waited with baited breath. This was going to be awesome.

When the package arrived from Cutting Edge Stencils, I was oh-so excited. So much so that I let it sit in the entry for awhile (maybe two weeks), until the MR set the box on the coffee table and asked if I knew I had a package. I was just avoiding it. You see; I’m not that great at painting. My hands aren’t that steady, I’m not that patient, my painting isn’t perfect. I have this major issue with having everything precise.

Sometimes I have great ideas that I’m just too afraid to implement. So skip forward another couple of weeks. I’m getting ready for our home to bounce from an easy-going three to a-lot-of-energy seven inhabitants. That would be the week that I finally get the courage to unload the bookcases and begin my project.

The bookcases themselves are a bit of a sore spot. You see, they’re filled with other people’s junk.

When you buy a house, you expect to start with a blank slate. When it’s a short sale, it’s a whole different ball game. People have walked away and, in our case, left a whole lot of themselves behind. They left beds, chairs, loveseats, smoothie mix, dog shampoo, and a whole lot of books.


I thought it would be fun to get rid of all the books that don’t belong to us, stencil the back of the bookcases, and make them a little more personal. We have books, we have knick-knacks, we don’t have to keep other people’s leftovers.

So I unloaded all the other people’s books. And this is what was left.

Just our stuff 2

You can see why we might need a stencil to add a little color. When I finished packing up all the books, I cleaned off 20 years of dead bugs, dust, and grime. It was time to paint, but I was oh so afraid. What if it looked awful? What if we didn’t like it? What if I picked the wrong color? What if the MR hated it?

So much indecision left me frozen in place. But just take a look around. I have boxes and bags stacked all over my room and the office area.

boxes of books 2

This does not make for a relaxing and peaceful retreat. I had to give painting a try. I removed the shelves, added some tape, and gave the stencil a coat of spray adhesive (OK, maybe a heavy coat of spray adhesive), One of our paint samples would add a little color and life to the back of the bookcase. I’d love to say it was wonderful, but…

Fishscale fail

This was awful. Sometimes things don’t work out at first. I still have books in boxes everywhere, so we can’t leave it like this forever. In the past, I had great success with the powder room at the last house using a stencil and cream stencil paint. (My whole Brownie Girl Scout troop and their mothers had to check out the metallic stars on a background of blue that I’d stenciled there.) Maybe it’s time for a change of plans.

I don’t know how this whole thing will turn out, but I’m not letting perfectionism trap me in my room full of boxes and books. It’s time to take a chance.

Do you plunge forward and take chances? Any stenciling tips?

If you’d like to see what we’ve done with some of the other books, check out Breakin-out-the-books and Back-to-the-books.




3 thoughts on “Perfectionism Holding You Back?

  1. Remember those cute little paint pots you were looking for but couldn’t find? Well, why don’t we make your own paint pots, and stubby brush and do it that way? MeeMee

  2. YES! I let perfection hold me back way too often. And I’m not sure why. I keep telling my kids that you won’t get good at something until you practice, but that isn’t what I expect of myself. I have been thinking about pillow covers for ages, but still haven’t attempted it, even after seeing all of your great results. I need to just jump in and learn as I go. I may be calling you for advice on those pillow covers.

  3. Pingback: Taking a Look Back at June | big white house on the hill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s