Be Concerned with Progress, not Perfection Most days on Twitter I issue a daily challenge. Usually it is based on something I'm personally working on or thinking about. I thought it might be interesting to chat about those challenges every now and then. So, here are my thoughts on today's challenge!
One of the best and worst things about my personality is that I'm a perfectionist. It works in my favor because it helps me produce products that are well done, polished, and feel complete. It makes me work hard and pushes me to excel.
It also completely gets in my way and is self-sabotaging.
Perfectionism places me in a false mindset that if I can't do it "just so" I can't do it at all. This manifests itself in two ways:
1. I work on something so long that I miss an opportunity.
2. I cut myself off at the knees before I get started. For example - I try to find the perfect workout routine and the perfect time of day to do it instead of just going out and exercising.
Recently I've been listening to the Accidental Creative podcast, and a frequent topic of discussion is how our ideas are not precious. Our responsibility is to get our ideas out into the world so they can change, grow, and be molded into something. If they are treated with fragility many times they won't reach their full potential. We have to trust ourselves - we will come up with more ideas if one completely goes bust.
So, right now I'm learning about slow progress and allowing my ideas to grow and take shape, even if they aren't perfect the minute they come out of my head.
My guess is that I'm not alone in this. Are there other perfectionists out there? How does being a perfectionist help you? Hurt you?