Like so many of us, when I started bullet journaling, I was inspired by all of the beautiful journals I saw on YouTube and Pinterest. I am a perfectionist by nature and I didn’t come into “creative” planning easily.
In fact, I went through three notebooks that only had a few used pages before I landed in a notebook I felt like I could live with. I once threw away a brand new Erin Condren planner because I didn’t like the way I wrote my name in the front. Perfectionism is a burden to bear, believe me.
Perfectionism and Planning: A Myth?
There has been a lot of controversy lately about the right and wrong way to plan. I have seen countless negative comments online about the way people choose to use their planners and the content they contain. I have also seen comments from people that feel discouraged because they feel like their planners don’t measure up.
I visited one of my local stationery stores the other day. I know the owner of the store and her daughter, a shop girl who we’ll call Dani, and because I’m a regular, we have a relationship. They always seem excited to see me when I come in and we enjoy trading notes. My planner has been a topic of conversation for some time and we look though it together when I visit so I can share my new spreads and ideas.
I had dinner with Dani a while back so I could help her learn more about bullet journaling and help her get started. When I saw her the other day, I asked her how her new planner was coming along and she shared with me that she is discouraged. She shared with me that she, a fellow perfectionist, wants her planner to look like mine and when it doesn’t she feels she doesn’t measure up.
While I have had a general irritation about some of the recent negativity in the planner community, I have had a hard time understanding people that are discouraged because it isn’t a feeling I have experienced. However, when Dani shared her feelings with me, I felt heartbroken.
I believe there is no right or wrong way to plan, a comment specifically addressed to all of the naysayers out there. What works for you is the right way for you.
For me, taking my planner one page at a time and building from there is what got me through my need for perfection. Each page, each spread, and each event is a lesson learned. I have learned that the more I plan, the less irritated I am by my mistakes and my own perception of what is perfect.
I hate to think that there are people out there who are not planning because they feel discouraged. The saying, “comparison is the thief of joy” couldn’t be more true.
I encourage each and every one the perfectionists out there to jump in and not look back, regardless of how you feel about the way your planner looks. Before you know it, you will have a full planner and you will love it for all of the work you put into it.