A Done Something is Better than a Perfect Nothing
Are you a perfectionist? Me, too! I want to be honest with you, it is exhausting! Trying to be perfect for myself, for others, for employers is completely energy sucking. It leaves me frustrated and never happy with my work, my hobbies or really anything I am doing. How about you? Are you afraid to start something if you can’t be sure you can do it perfectly? I have read that perfectionism is the enemy of production. I have never read a truer statement!
The problem with the thought of perfection is that no one is perfect. NO ONE! We are human, perfection is not possible. I know it isn’t an easy thing to do but we must let it go! It is not serving us and in fact is hindering us from growing and experiencing amazing opportunities! Easier said than done, I know.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Broken Crayons Still Color?” It is true! They get the job done, and the thing, is no one who sees the colored picture has any idea that it came from broken crayons! Gasp! Think back to those instances when you have done something that you felt was not perfect however it got the job done. Did anyone else notice it was not perfect besides you?
Because it is hard to get out of the mindset of striving for perfection, I find it is helpful to think of being “perfectly imperfect.” How boring would life be if we all looked the same, thought the same and dressed the same? If everything and everyone were perfect, there would be no bloopers and who doesn’t love a good blooper reel? The imperfections are truly what make things so perfect. Think about those items that we have in our house that may have been glued back together or have a nick or scratch on them because one of our kids (or dogs) was roughhousing. Just stopping to think about the history behind that imperfection makes the piece that much more valuable.
The other strategy for coping with perfectionism is to change the way you think about it. It is only human nature to focus on the failures and even more so for perfectionists. Rather than obsess about that failure and overanalyze all the things that went wrong, turn your thoughts around. Ask yourself these questions:
What did I learn from this?
What do I know now that I didn’t before?
What is the good that came out of this process?
How will I be able to improve on this next time?
Notice these questions are a learner’s mindset, meaning, instead of judging yourself and the process, you are focused on learning as much information as you can from the outcome. This reframes the way you think about the whole experience, focusing on what went right and how you can improve upon the process. It also sets you up for a much greater chance of succeeding the next time. And don’t forget to channel your inner “Bob Ross” and acknowledge those “happy accidents”
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Kimber Bratsch