April 10, 2019
I am a recovering perfectionist. My nature is to obsess about ways to take something to the next level. On the one hand, my perfectionist mentality is what has made my work great and led to accolades and promotions, but what I’ve come to realize is that this obsession with perfection also can be paralyzing.
There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to produce our best work. It’s not about putting out “shoddy” work. However, there is a big difference between excellence and perfectionism. Perfection is mostly about protecting ego and pride.
When I find myself obsessing over whether something is good enough, I must remind myself that progress is better than perfectionism.
Hiding inside perfectionism is fear of failure, which never would have allowed me to start a communications business over 11 years ago or stand in front of hundreds of people conducting personal branding workshops. While those ventures didn’t start “perfect,” over the years I have been able to tweak both ventures to improve them.
Perfectionism is a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less. Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and surpasses ordinary standards.
In his book, Moving Past Perfect, Thomas Greenspon referred to the following quote that has been adapted by various people:
“Excellence is risk. Perfection is fear.”
Excellence is confidence. Perfectionism is doubt.”
So how do we move past perfect? Below are a few tips:
Don’t let perfectionism hold you back in life. Remember we are all human and all have flaws. By removing the “all or nothing” mindset, you can make improvements, without the unrealistic expectation of getting it perfect every time.