Perfectionism keeps us in a box; a very small one. It keeps us from stepping out of our comfort zone and holds us in a pattern of living in the “when, then” mindset. I find it more empowering to keep my focus on Progress; the progress that happens each and every day, with each and every workout, with each and every idea and with each and every attempt to do something new.
Because the truth is, we are always making progress in some way, as long as we are continuing to take action. If you are working out every day, you are making progress. If you are eating healthy, but maybe slip up here and there, you are still making progress. If you have a project due, and you take the first step toward getting it done, that is progress.
Get the m done! That’s right, just do it; whatever that thing is you need to do. Don’t let perfectionism (fear) hold you back because you may get rejected, feel like a failure or not do it perfectly. Isn’t it better to say you at least took action toward something, then to not have started at all?
Do you aim for perfection only to find yourself failing every single time? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While we might not all label ourselves “perfectionists,” many of us have perfectionist tendencies in one or more areas, like our home, our parenting abilities or our weight.
"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."
Let me tell you, aiming for perfection is a losing battle. In this article, we will discuss reasons you shouldn’t aim for perfection, you should aim for progress.
This are the few reason why you shoukd not strive for perfection
It makes your motivation inconsistent.
By focusing on perfection, you tend to think in terms of black or white. Win or lose. Fail or succeed. There is no gray or middle ground. This type of thinking can make your motivation go up and down like a roller coaster. For instance, when things are going well, you might feel confident, accomplished and capable. These positive emotions can encourage you to keep moving forward. But as soon as things turn south, you start feeling discouraged and uninspired. These negative emotions tend to sour your enthusiasm, which makes it tough to stay the course.
The perils of perfect
That urge to redo, revise, and re-edit your work until you get everything just right is what you should avoid. Second-guessing yourself and doubting by looking for the faults in your work will only make stalling worse. Perfectionism can prevent you from finishing your most important and meaningful work.
It leads to self-criticism.
When you fall short of a goal, your judgmental inner voice can start throwing barbs your way, creating a never-ending battle in your own mind. This self-imposed mental assault may lead you to abandon your goal. Worse yet, you may be left with an underlying sense that you'll never have the resources or the ability to realize your goals.
No one is perfect.
It's about time you cut yourself some slack and rather focus on progress instead of perfection. Just be your best you. That's all that matter. You will make mistakes but that should not stop you from showing us your most authentic self. Make adjustments along the way as you create. Instead of striving for a perfect end, you should aim for incremental improvements. It's a much better goal. Stop questioning yourself and get your best work out there.
If you intent to creating something remarkable, learn to embrace who you are, celebrate your strengths and don't let your weaknesses overshadow your best work. Inappropriate attention to detail is the reason why you have not launched your work. By all means, get it right but don't aim for perfection.
It slow you down
Trying to achieve perfection requires extra energy, focus and time. When you hyperfocus your attention on details, things take more time, which can sap your energy and wear you down. This makes it much more difficult to make meaningful change. It's like trying to drive a car with the parking brake on.
Why focusing on progress is key
Focusing on progress, instead of perfection, can make it much easier and enjoyable to reach your goals. Here are some benefits of focusing on progress:
It gives you more reasons to celebrate
Choose to be Genuine
Replace perfect with contentment. Perfection stops you from writing or posting your creative work because of a fear of failure. You fear your post is not good enough. You are afraid no one will read it, use it, share it or recommend it.
Give yourself permission to put your work out there without holding back. Once you stop trying to be perfect, you will be surprised at how much work you can actually get done. You will be a lot more productive and content with yourself. You will happier, satisfied and more relaxed. Your approach to creative work will be different.
It motivates you to keep going
It can be empowering to look back and see the progress you've made in spite of challenges you've faced. When the going gets tough, you can draw on your past successes to propel you forward. Reflecting on your progress can also reinforce the belief that you have the ability to change — that your goals are within your reach. This belief in yourself fuels your motivation and can sustain you during challenging times.
It encourages a mindset of learning, not failure.
In the business world, there is a term used to describe the concept of viewing each mistake as an opportunity to learn from what went wrong, rather than as a win-or-lose proposition. It's called failing forward. Try applying this concept to your daily life. The word "failure" becomes obsolete because there are only learning experiences on the path to achieving your goals. When you focus on what you've learned, it takes the pressure off and gives you space to experiment with new approaches to see what works and what doesn't. The path to obtaining your goal becomes a playful adventure.