Is trying to do things perfectly getting in your way of doing things at all?
Yesterday I came across a great blog post from Christine Kane where she shares nine tips for overcoming procrastination (not that I need any of those tips, of course…ahem).
Tip #3 was “Agree to do it badly.”
For me, that’s a huge piece of the puzzle for anything I want to do or create. While I’ve done a lot of work on it, my inclination toward perfectionism still rears its head more than I would like.
If I’m doing something new, or creating something (like writing), I constantly have to remind myself that I’m not going to get from zero to masterpiece without creating a lump of clay first.
Thinking about it that way gives me permission to do it badly. Because what’s more important than getting it perfect out of the gate (which inevitably nothing is) is having something to work with, period.
Attaching yourself to the need to “get it right” is a great recipe for either not taking action towards your goals or feeling like an abject failure when you do. It’s a form of black and white thinking that doesn’t take into account this pesky little thing called reality.
Seeking immediate perfection is a little like deciding you want to engage in deep philosophical discourse in a language you have never studied. Insisting on that as an immediate outcome would either a) prevent you from even trying or b) leave you feeling frustrated and inept if you do try. The reality is that you need to go through the ugly and clunky process of being new to the language before you can have any meaningful conversation.
You can’t do what you don’t start, and you’re unlikely to achieve anything when you set yourself up to feel like a failure if you do start.
What goal is the need to get it right preventing you from pursuing? What vision is lying in mothballs because you’re not taking action on it?
Stop trying to create a masterpiece, and give yourself permission to create a lump of clay.
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