My name is Danielle and I am a perfectionist.
I’m that annoying person who needs things “just so”. I’m the woman who knows if someone has been in my house or at my desk by the way things are re-arranged or if a portrait is just a hair off kilter. To me, nothing tops the scent of clean and Gain power beads are my new favorite laundry accessory (the scent really does last)!
Particularity’s aside, I do have my redeeming qualities. Should a crisis ever arise, you want me on your squad in the midst of chaos. The bigger the fire, the more cool, calm, and collected I become.
Sure, I have the propensity to freak out over situations that most people find ridiculous and trivial. But honestly, it’s simply uncouth to steal somebody’s good pens or disregard their version of the Dewey Decimal system. This particular way of functioning has served me extremely well. Systems, organization, and color coding are all tools in my professional life that have helped me achieve the results I desire.
But, “my world” isn’t simply just my profession or the particular way I run my home. There are other aspects of who I am where this type of rigidity is not only unnecessary but downright detrimental to producing anything. I can think of no better example of this issue at work than my decision to create a podcast. I have the privilege of partnering with a brilliant woman by the name of Andrea. Simply put, she is super cool, amazing, and one of her many gifts is inspiring others to action. In a lot of ways, she helps me to be brave. And while I have an unwavering faith in her, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that sometimes I wonder if I’m equipped for this.
You see, love for symmetry aside, I believe I am a creative person. And in the confines of my own thoughts, this creativity flows freely, neatly, and in order. “Yes. I think I will do a podcast and I know just how to do it.” says my inner creative. It’s all so fun and fancy-free in my mind. That is until it’s actually time do it. It’s the “doing” that gets me every time. Actually creating something tangible is downright messy; cue my anxiety. Creativity is unruly, unpredictable, and no respecter of my futile attempts to color-code the world. It refuses to be subdued by spreadsheets or systems. And sometimes even after I’ve taken all the necessary steps I can think of, it does not show up the way I think it ought to.
Creativity, I find you elusive and mildly standoffish. There. I said it.
By now, I’m sure you can see why this project and everything it requires is daunting. Providing any measure of valuable content worth listening to demands my vulnerability. Which means in order to do this well, I have to show up as myself—minus the armor— and allow myself to be seen and heard. That is some scary stuff, y’all. The looping narrative in my mind always has a million versions of one message “You are not (fill in the blank) enough to do this right now.” Masked as reason, this voice says things like “A little more research”, “Leave it to the professionals”, “Flush your plan out a little more thoroughly”, “Who in the world is going to care about anything you have to say” and my personal favorite, “It’s good but not great. Hold off a little longer until you perfect it.” This “reasoning” has kept my creativity in a state of paralysis for most of my adult life. And here’s the crux there. Not only has perfection never arrived at my doorstep, but in preparing for its visit I managed to produce absolutely nothing.
Not. One. Thing. Countless starts, zero finishes.
I accomplished this amazing feat by procrastinating in the name of timing or butchering everything I created beyond recognition.
Now you can understand why this creative baby Drea & I (plus an awesome production team) made is more than just a podcast. The act of releasing Spin the Bottle forces my perfectionism, judgment, and self-criticism to step aside as I walk into the arena. You guys, this is treason to my reason.
Will it be perfect? Certainly not. Will people love it or even like it? I have no idea. Will I be the subject of scrutiny? Without a doubt. Is Spin the Bottle a success? Absolutely. It is a success because I dared to show up. It is a success because I worked with a team of people to bring a shared vision to life. It is a success because this brings my score to 1 in the “Creative Games.” It is a success because this podcast is the evidence that I have tried for something. What the outcome will be, I cannot say. But, what I know for sure is that Spin the Bottle is us in our words, thoughts, and actions daring greatly. Drea & I are now officially in the fight and if that isn’t a measure of success I don’t know what is.
With that being said, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our world. You officially have a front row seat to our humble beginnings…