Sunday, January 13, 2013

Perfection Can Hurt You

I know you've heard this one before . . . "Never settle for anything but your best."

Sounds like good advice right?  But, when I sat down and really thought about what this means for me, I realized that this principle is the very thing that is holding me back  - because it tends to make me procrastinate in a big way.

I find that the idea of perfection or even the idea of my type of perfection, paralyzes me. There have been so many projects that I have half-completed or haven't even started because I feel I can't devote the energy or the time to make it perfect or at least my best.  Therefore, I usually get nothing done.  

While others that don't have that debilitating practice of perfection, are producing products, gaining experience, learning their craft, and getting nicely compensated for it.

I mean seriously, if you think about placing this advice in any other context -- it would hurt you.  Say I come home, tired from a long day's work, needing to quickly eat something before I must arise in a mere few hours to get back to work.  In my  refrigerator is a frozen steak and a left-over hamburger.  Clearly, steak is the best within my refrigerator, but it would mean I'd have to thaw out the meat, prepare and season it and then cook it.  Which I don't have time to do.  Whereas the hamburger is ready to be heated up and eaten within minutes.  If I followed the advise above, I would go to bed hungry because the steak is my best and I shouldn't settle for anything less, right?

This scenario applies to life as well, sometimes, you have to give up your "best" and just get the job done. When I embrace this principle, I tend to get the job completed and achieve more, because sometimes my best is not what the client, employer or customer needs.  Sometimes, getting the job done is much more important.

Just do the damn thing.

I didn't have to become perfect because I've learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.  Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.  ~ Janelle Monoe


  1. You're absolutely right. Sometimes you have to just do it.

    I'm a professional writer and many times I get stuck in writer's block. One of the best books I've read in a long time is called The War of Art, a clever title reduxed from The Art of War.

    It's all about the frustrations and blocks you have to let go of to get to you a space where you can create.

    If you're looking for a quick, light read that could change your life, I highly recommend it.

    Thanks for this post. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


  2. Thank you Angela, you don't know how wonderful it is that you have affirmed my thoughts on this. I have hit the brick wall because of my struggle with perfection -- you can say that my 2013 resolution is that I'm just going to through caution to the wind and just do the damn thing. I'm going to read "The War of Art." thanks.

  3. I battled with perfection for a long time. I finally came to the conclusion that it's just too laborious. Now I realize that I have what I need to take the next step, so that's what I do (rather than waiting, waiting, and waiting some more for everything to be 'perfect.')


Let me know what you think! Really, I am interested.