Updated: Jul 2, 2020
For the past few weeks, I have focused on a new mantra that has allowed me to produce more results and make more progress than I thought was possible in my small business.
Progress, Not Perfection.
As someone that happily (and proudly) bore the badge of perfectionism, the thought of moving forward without a plan completely hatched, vetted and tested left me feeling anxious at best. I mean, what’s wrong with having high standards? It means I will put out high quality work and can avoid unnecessary churn or costly mistakes. And let’s not forget my reputation. What would people think if I didn’t put out my very best work at all times?
As it turns out, the world is much more forgiving then I gave it credit for.
My strive for perfection did result in some good output, no doubt. However, I produced about half of what was possible, shelving material for further research, holding onto big ideas until I had a more fleshed out plan and worst of all, missing out on high-growth opportunities that seemed to carry just a bit too much risk.
In the end, I took a harder look at striving for perfection and came to some revealing conclusions. Perfectionism is often a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What’s hiding underneath?
1. Fear of Failure – Call it ‘trial and error’, ‘process of elimination’ or straight-up failure but not getting your desired result can be a bummer. It can also be a cure for analysis paralysis, allowing you to evolve and iterate alongside the voice of your customer.
2. Comfort-Zoned – You have a system and it works. Going outside of the system would be, well, uncomfortable. But guess what usually comes from discomfort? Growth! Purposefully putting yourselves outside of your comfort zone develops resilience and a healthier relationship with risk.
3. Fear of Success – That’s right! Hiding behind “It’s not quite ready yet” could be an innate fear of actually succeeding. This fear usually stems from an unchecked case of Imposter Syndrome. The good news is this can be overcome, opening the door to well-deserved growth and opportunity!
If you struggle with perfectionism, I suggest trying the antidote, progress! Take steps into the unknown, move forward before you are ready and most importantly, be kind to yourself as you learn and grow.
What are you going to take action on today? Leave a comment and let me know how I can support you!