March 15, 2024

The Perfection Pitfall: How it Will Ruin Your Life

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

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3 min read

Aiming for perfection is the best way to ensure your pet learns how to type like a human on a keyboard (In other words, chasing perfection is as useless as it is unrealistic to expect pets to type).

Like many, I’ve wrestled with my inner perfectionist. I was constantly striving to produce “flawless” work to impress everyone around me.

This push for perfection was unhealthy. It allowed no room for mistakes and filled me with anxiety over every detail. And if I slipped up, it felt like my world was collapsing.

My battle with perfectionism was like a leech I couldn’t shake off. It came from a place of fear — a fear of not being enough for myself and my work.

It held me back from trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone. Even now, remnants of this mindset linger — I consider myself a recovering perfectionist.

What transformed my approach was a shift in mindset. Instead of chasing perfection, I’m striving for incremental progress.

Here are a few strategies that have helped me escape the perfectionism trap:

1) Listen to your inner voice

“If your voice in your head is mean to you. Remember that someone manipulated that voice and instilled it in you. Kill that fake voice and find yours. I love you. Now love yourself.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Be aware of the voices inside your head. Which voices do you hear the most?

Are they compassionate and encouraging? Or mean and unkind?

I start to fear showing up when I’m always beating myself down.

A supportive inner voice is important as what you shape inside your mind becomes a reality through your behavior.

2) Pay attention to what you consume

“Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.” — Jose Ortega y Gasset

What you read, watch, and listen to becomes a reflection of how you see yourself and your work.

I’ve learned it’s better to follow people who share the ups and downs of their journeys, not just the highlights. It keeps me inspired as opposed to feeling inadequate.

3) The 90% rule

“Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.” — Seth Godin

Aiming to get your work to 90% and then putting it out is better than never sharing because you’re waiting for it to be perfect.

I leave the last 10% for feedback from others. I mean where’s the fun in overly polished work?

Use the feedback you get to improve on the next thing you want to share with the world.


Final Thoughts

“You can’t improve what doesn’t exist, and people prevent themselves from putting anything into existence because they want it to be perfect from the start. Impossible.” — Dan Koe

Perfectionism is a disguised form of procrastination that stops you from growing.

It’s important to remind yourself that you’re good enough and your work has value to be shared. Don’t wait for the “perfect” moment. It doesn’t exist.

Believing my best work is yet to come keeps me focused on continuous improvement, not perfection.

Changing this mindset is an ongoing process, but it’s worth the effort.

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