Calling the self-proclaimed perfectionists
Is it really perfection, or is it fear?
I watched it over and over again, multiple times, and then I wrote down the words he was saying.
“Are you using perfectionism as an excuse not to do something?” Don said.
He went on to explain that when we say we're “perfectionists,” fear is our motivator. Perfectionism can be our way of buying time for fear of putting something less-than-perfect out for the world to see.
In other words: sometimes, saying “I'm just a perfectionist” is a socially acceptable way of saying “I'm just afraid of putting this out there.”
Kind of like how saying “I'm just stressed” is a socially acceptable way of saying you're angry.
If the real reason you're mulling a piece to “perfection” is because you're afraid (hint: it usually is), you should just publish the thing. Call the person. Send the email. Create the website.
Here's what Donald Miller said about how to know when something is good to go:
“I put things into the world that I consider 85% perfect, because if I waited until it was at 100%, I might be working on the project for another year.”
And that's a lot of time to not have your work out there, changing lives or businesses or perspectives.
What's crazy is I've seen this play out not only with myself, friends, other business owners, you name it – but organizationally as well.
There are projects I've worked on that have been bottlenecked for a year – or more – because stakeholders are afraid to give the project a final green light.
I've written copy that still isn't on websites a year later, even though the client loved it.
I know the problem isn't laziness.
I think it's fear masked by perfectionism.
Fear of not being good enough, of what other people will think, of whether your content or website or social media post will be the best in the industry.
Quality always comes before quantity, but sometimes, people confuse quality with perfection.
And when perfection gets in the way of production, that's when people and businesses stall out.
Let's not be afraid to do the thing. You know what project I'm talking about; you're thinking about it right now. Send it, friend. (Of course, make sure someone edits it. But then just be OK with 85% perfection).
Let me know what project it is you've been trying to make perfect, and just publish it already. When you do, tag me on social media and I'll re-share it!