3 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

I once read that there are two deadly P's in seeking the zone-like occasion of productivity: procrastination and perfectionism.  Let's talk about the latter for a minute- what's so bad about wanting to get things perfect? 

  1. Perfectionism convinces you that things must be absolutely, positively correct.  This myth only exists in some strange, far away land in which even the latest OS from Microsoft is perfect.  Last I checked, Microsoft's latest OS- even with several millions of beta testers, is far from perfect.  Things have to be done well but rarely do they have to be perfect.  Step one: accept a few flaws and realize that momentum is important at work- if your momentum and energy are getting bogged down by perfectionism, plow forward and save the critique for later.

  2. Perfectionism paralyzes you to the point that you don't want to tackle important projects.  I once delayed the simple task of completing a contract for a day's retreat because I didn't like the retreat staff.  What projects have you been putting off for fear of not getting them "just right"?  Step two: practice the habit of next action thinking and always be working on the next step.

  3. Perfectionism can make you difficult to work with. Let's face it- no one likes a know-it-all and most of the time those that must have things perfect are downright annoying.  Step three: don't take yourself so seriously.  We all have to work with
    one another so relax and accept a few flaws in yourself and in others.

Quotes for the road

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.  ~Harriet Braiker

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.  It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.  ~Goethe

No one is perfect... that's why pencils have erasers.  ~Author Unknown

(yes, that's me on the top of a 30 foot poll at retreat today- it wasn't perfect but I made it to the top!)