Back in late September, I created a post asking for your input on the impact of perfectionism in genealogy as I worked on my RootsTech talk, “The Imperfect Genealogist.” I was surprised when I didn’t get much of a response and I then I discovered that an updated security package with my GoDaddy account had turned off commenting as a default and I didn’t realize it.
I’m getting back to work on my talk (it’s due next month!) and thought I’d try again. Thanks very much to those of you who replied to the September post after I got comments up and running! I’d love to hear more from others in comments to this post. Here’s what I wrote in September.
I think about perfectionism a lot. It’s the topic of the podcast I co-host with my friend and life coach Shannon Wilkinson every week. But lately I’ve been thinking about it particularly in relation to genealogy, since I’m working on my RootsTech talk next year, called “The Imperfect Genealogist.”
Here are some ways I have seen perfectionism causing genealogists to stall in their research:
- You don’t know how to do source citations correctly, so you don’t do them at all.
- You haven’t come up with the perfect way to organize your research, so you just keep doing research without organizing it.
- You don’t have a whole weekend to devote to your genealogy research, so you don’t do any research at all.
- You don’t know the very best way to preserve your archival documents, so you let them languish in an unsafe, non-archival environment. (We discussed this very thing on Episode 20 of Getting to Good Enough.)
It’s your turn. Can you help me out and let me know how perfectionism can get in the way of your genealogy life? Please share the things you tend to get perfectionistic about and the impact it can have. (If you’ve figured out strategies for getting past that, I’m all ears!) Just leave a comment on this post. I’m sure you’ll contribute things I haven’t even thought of!