the thing with perfectionism is that there is no winning at it. you can think and ponder and wish and dream all of the ways you think the thing should be. sometimes its a business project or sometimes its your body. but “good enough” is enough to get you started. having too high of standards may always make you feel like a failure.
perfectionism is the precursor to procrastination. it sits on the edge of the seat stealing away any sense of joy you have, with a quite whisper of not living up to your expectations.
now don’t get me wrong – you should have high expectations. but here’s an example of how your expectations can leave you devastated, when anyone looking in would see a different view.
you suddenly get motivated to start working out at the gym and vow to attend 6 times a week. the first week starts off strong and even though your body is sore to the touch, you push yourself to go back. by week 2 you are exhausted and can’t make it to the gym on monday morning. now you have a feeling that you are a failure and suck at life.
this is where the perfectionist mentality goes wrong. you set the bar to high at the outset and you are unable to jump over it. you absolutely should have high expectations in order to succeed – but think about goal setting as a baby learning to walk. (i just said ‘WALK’ not run!)
babies have got it all figured out. they start by hanging out on their bellies doing weird gyrations with their bodies. finally they are able to push themselves up and do the “slow crawl”, then before you know it they are pulling themselves up onto the furniture, often with pointy furniture edges threatening their soft tissue. with coaxing and coaching and hand holding they are taking their first steps with a slobbery grin on their chubby faces. before you know it they are standing and walking on their own like a miniature zombie. with more practice and desire to get into cupboards and toilets they become more nimble and hone their fine motor skills so that they can find that tube of toothpaste and victoriously squeeze the minty fresh gel onto the bathroom rug.
I leave you with this thought:
Be a baby. have no expectations of perfection but instead harness the drive to take that next step. you might look strangely like a zombie along the way, but eventually you will have persisted long enough to earn that perfection-less victory of actually doing something.