incomplete website

Why I chose to publish an incomplete, bare-bones website

I’ve struggled with perfectionism for as long as I can remember.

Maybe part of that, is because I grew up as the ‘good girl’ – the older sibling expected to set the example.

I remember being called out at school for not doing my science homework and getting detention – I was a prefect at the time, and I was mortified. I just wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole.

I’m not a fan of disappointing people.

(Or bringing unnecessary attention to myself).

Over the years, I’ve probably treated perfectionism like some kind of badge of honour… A coping mechanism of sorts. I hate any type of conflict – I thought that if I did things perfectly, I’d be in control; safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t (unintentionally) ruffle any feathers.

This mindset worked just fine in my 20s and early 30s.

I pivoted careers in 2012 and entered the world of content marketing. I built websites, blogs (and even a short-lived podcast) from scratch – I felt proud of what I was doing.

But then, something changed during the pandemic.

Like most of us, I had more time to think (overthink). And I started to question things. My safe, certain world was suddenly shattered and it took a massive toll on my confidence.

All of a sudden, everything felt more challenging; things felt heavier.

Creating content under my own name felt incredibly overwhelming.

And when I did put something together, it took forever. I started comparing myself to other writers, content creators and even people 10 years ahead of me, which made me doubt myself even more.

I began a vicious cycle of starting something new, tweaking it to death, and then dropping it like a hot potato. Rinse and repeat.

I struggled to follow through on more than just my creative ideas though, and at 39, I started getting panicky about turning 40.

I felt unaccomplished, uninspired and lost.

So I did the only thing I could think of to take some sort of control: I stepped back. And I took a gap year from pursuing anything new. Thankfully, I had some freelance work to keep me feeling productive and purposeful.

In the moments I wasn’t working, I dug deep into some really uncomfortable places.

I had a lot of inner work and self healing I’d shoved aside for years. It’s mind-boggling how major life events, like a pandemic, or the death of a loved one, can open up old wounds you thought you’d gotten past. I went for long solo walks in nature. I journaled.

And I faced some hard truths:

  • I’d spent so much time editing and polishing, that I’d forgotten how to show up fully as myself.
  • I wasn’t speaking my truth; I was holding back and being agreeable to avoid making waves.
  • The regret I entered my 40th year with, wasn’t something I ever wanted to feel again.

Perfectionism is a lie we’ve been sold…

It’s debilitating.

And it keeps us stuck in a cycle of pretense and procrastination (with unnecessary pressure to boot).

So, this website is far from complete or polished as I hit the publish button. But you know what? There’s power in doing things your own way. It’s a freeing feeling to have it in this simple, raw version.

I love knowing that I have a solid foundation to build on.

I love knowing that I’ve followed through on something I set my mind to. Small wins!

I think we forget that part of the journey (in whatever we’re trying to achieve in life), is to embrace the joy that comes with exploring and experimenting.

We forget how liberating it feels to try different things, to make mistakes and learn from them as we evolve. It’s a huge part of being human.

Final thoughts on what I now know to be true:

Keeping promises to ourselves – not performing or polishing for others – is how we take our control back; it’s how we boost our confidence, one tiny action at a time.

2023 is the year I’m choosing to follow through on my own promises, imperfectly.

Because I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Like this site, I’m a work in progress too.

That’s what I’m hoping to share with you along this journey. I want to show you what it looks like to start from a bare minimum – and build on from there.

(Even if there’s no About page, even if there’s no Services page. Yet).

Life is an evolution…

Our work, healing, growth, and confidence should be too.

Because honestly? Life is way too short and unpredictable to be tinkering away or editing every word or action to fit in, look like we’re experts, or avoid conflict.

It’s exhausting.

You know what else? It stops us from realising our full potential.

What would happen if we didn’t try so hard and just enjoyed the process of figuring it out as we go? How much more in flow and ease would our lives (and work) be?

I don’t know about you, but I intend to find out.

Feel free to follow along as I share my journey on my blog and in my monthly newsletter, Rooted.

Melanie Chisnall

Melanie Chisnall

Hi! I'm Melanie, a writer and intuitive with a passion for helping people reconnect to themselves and do more of what lights them up. Real talk, nature & dirty chai fan.