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Little Miss Not-So-Perfect: Why You Need To Let Go Of Perfectionism NOW

Perfectionists are always procrastinators. Of course, not all procrastinators are perfectionists; but all perfectionists are procrastinators—to some degree.

I suspect that, if you’re the kind of person who embraces the “chunk of change” concept, you’re a bit of a perfectionist.  You’re constantly looking to improve.  You always want to take it to the next level.  And, as a matter of course, you’re …

…always putting something off.

There are several great books out there that will help you tackle procrastination…or at least understand it. Take a look at Eat That Frog! for motivation or Procrastination if you want to get to the root of the issue.

Unfortunately, there’s no big revelation in these titles. Ultimately, it comes down to this: do the thing that you are dreading.

It’s something that we all inherently know, but we are still looking for help in the “getting to the action” part. Well, the bottom line is: if you don’t let go of perfectionism, it’ll never get done.

A mantra of mine—because this is something I struggle with—is: “perfect is the enemy of the good.” In most cases, an action-filled “good enough” trumps a “perfect that comes later.”

Naturally, this does not apply to those of you that are surgeons or have occupations in which life-and-death decisions cannot be made less-than-perfect.  I know many in corporate struggle with the idea that any small mistake can lead to demotion, firing or worse, leading fear to rule the need to appear perfect–and usually keeping things stagnant as well. The rest of us, however, do not have jobs in which we need to be perpetually flawless.

What we non-surgeons need to understand is that, in today’s fast-paced world, you must have the ability to learn while you’re running and adapt quickly.

I’ve been working in a very fast-paced industry—in all aspects on the online arena—for the past 17 years.  As a matter of course, I’ve seen a lot of change. What’s really interesting to me is that there are certain types of people who are just more adaptive than others…and they’re simply more successful in business.

Even the people who seem to have all the answers (e.g. today’s social media gurus) get knocked off quickly as soon as the next big change comes along. They’re simply not ready for the perpetual whitewater of business.

Ask the social media “gurus” how they’ve dealt with Facebook’s Timeline change and you’ll see that their numbers have (most likely) gone down and they’re struggling to get back the leads they once had. Some will adapt and find new ways to use the Timeline change to their advantage, while others will get stuck in a rut and keep doing things the same way.

Don’t been an ostrich!  You have to be willing to stick your neck out a little bit in order to make progress. If you’re a perfectionist, let go of that a little bit so that you can continue to produce and keep evolving.

Change begets change. So, don’t be afraid to start making decisions and taking actions—whether they’re “right” or not.  You can always instill course-corrections later on.

What are some perfectionist tendencies you struggle with? Have they kept you from the progress or happiness you seek?

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