5 Reasons to Stop Trying to be Perfect

prefection-on-booksPerfection can kill the motivation of the brightest minds. Some people just want every detail to be perfect.

I think perfection is for losers. When you try so hard to make everything perfect, you bind your creativity. Instead of putting out something wonderful, you end up putting out crap that is over processed and boring.

Greatness is not about being perfect. Being great means making mistakes, big mistakes and learning from them.

I wrote this article because I’ve been binding my thoughts and hands, which deflated my confidence. My projects went unfinished.

My presentations will always need improvement. My eShorts will need to look prettier. My teleseminars will need to give more and more value.

That’s the nature of the game. Master car technicians will always come across a problem that they can’t solve. You will have projects that frustrate you.

You need to let go of how you want your project to play out and just do what feels right instead of letting your old habits of perfection lock up your ability to take action.

I put together a list of 5 reasons why you need to stop trying to be perfect.

1. Less Stress

Your stress level goes way up when you set the bar too high, which results in restricted thoughts. Your body and mind constrict and stop allowing the flow of oxygenated blood keep you calm. Stress will very rarely make you better at what you do.

I recently worked with a co-worker who was under time restraints to finish a report by the end of the day. He was gnashing and groaning the whole time. His boss walked in and told him that the report could wait until the of the week, giving him two extra days to finish. I could see the pressure just ooze out of him.

He still finished the report that night because he stopped worrying and relaxed with the work.

When you stop trying to make every piece exactly how you want it, you will make it easier to enjoy what you do.

2. More Creativity

I refuse to let a blank Word document sit on my screen for more than five seconds. I just start typing with whatever is in my head. I know those first few sentences will be crap. But that’s normal.

I’ve stopped trying to craft the perfect sentence because it locks up my brain. By writing a few bad sentences the mental wheels are greased and the sentences start flowing.

When you are just about to start something don’t think about how, why, or what. Just start doing the first thing that comes to your mind. Let it out and fix it later.

3. Work becomes More Fun

You have probably worked on a project that was a big deal, whether it was at school or on the job. It may seem have seemed like everyone was looking over your shoulder.

When you work on a project that doesn’t have as much pressure attached to it, you are probably able to joke around and have more fun. When you don’t put too much pressure on yourself you won’t need to make every detail just so; all you need is a solid concept. Those projects are usually more enjoyable and produce better results.

4. Less Procrastination

I used to be a big procrastinator. I held off on dealing with a project until the last minute. I thought this helped my creativity.

When I stopped imagining what the project was going to look like (how great and grand everyone would think it was), I finally was able to work in the moment and stop putting off my work.

This post caused a blip in my mastery of non-perfection. I started writing and was about to check my email because I got stuck on number 3 on this list. My frustration kicked up a small notch and I was about to lose 15 minutes to my email. I relaxed and smiled. I saw the pattern. That’s when I read number 1 and number 2 again. I stopped pushing to complete number 3 and just let the writing flow. I know I won’t ever be the most graceful writer, but I know how to get my point across so it keeps you reading.

5. You'll Get Bigger Projects Accomplished

You have probably been putting off a big project because you’ve been afraid of achieving less than perfection. Whether you are trying to start a website, write a book, or lose weight, you need to let go of how you think it will come together and just break off little chunks, work on them and watch how much you accomplish.

You will always see a lot of mistakes, and this is fine just as long as you see them and fix them the next go around. You can always keep trying until you get it right.

You are filled with potential. You have greatness that you need to let out. Just let go of your need to make whatever you do perfect and your motivation will kick up a notch and you’ll start getting more accomplished.

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Sometimes I forget the most important elements of blogging. Darren Rowse of Problogger always keeps me in line. Check out one of my recent favorites - Usefulness - Principles of Successful Blogging #3.

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Image courtesy of Scarleth White