Imperfectly done is better than perfectly started.
This is my mantra. As a recovering perfectionist, it’s easy to fall into the trap of striving for perfection and get stuck on square one. The trouble with the perfection trap is you never really get off of square one and you end up with a thousand different perfect starts.
Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and hit ‘send’ or ‘publish’ even if that little nagging feeling is screaming at you to double check it ONE MORE TIME! So what if there’s a typo or you forgot to mention an important fact and you have to follow-up with another email?
Perfectionists, here’s a little newsflash for you: your 80 percent tops most peoples’ 100 percent by FAR. What you consider lame, or just MEH, is extraordinary to other people. In fact, people feel just a bit intimidated by your always perfectness and would like a sign that you’re just a human being like them.
My challenge to you, dear readers, is to give yourself permission to not be perfect. Because on a sunny summer day when school is almost, if not already, back in, who cares? Who cares compared to the time you can spend with your family? Who cares compared to the stress you will alleviate by letting go? Seriously…who cares?
(Note: all brain surgeons and rocket scientists please ignore this advice. We really REALLY want you to aim for perfection. Everyone else: get over yourself and go have fun.)
Make a list of things that you wouldn’t trade for perfection, like sunset walks with your husband, or laughter-filled afternoons at the beach with your kids. If it helps remind you what is more important, post photos of those moments around your workspace.
Consider the worst case scenario if the imperfect happens. What will happen if you post a status update to Facebook and it has a typo in it? Chances are your friends will start a bit of a laugh thread and it will end in good fun. If it’s life threatening, go for perfect. If not, give yourself a break.
Think about what you are losing by getting stuck on perfection. Most often what you lose is time, but if you think about it, that time you lost is a lot more than just minutes. It’s time you could have spent generating new opportunities. So what you truly lost can never truly be measured because it’s the unknown.
And I repeat: Imperfectly done is better than perfectly started. Happy Monday!