Perfection Paralysis

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

~ Vince Lombardi

ChaseWhen is the last time you did something absolutely perfectly? Perhaps a better question is, “have you ever done anything absolutely perfectly?” If you are like most of us, there are some things you have been close to perfect with, but not many, so even if you have been perfect at something at some point in time, it is a rare occurrence.

I am not talking about a philosophical perfection here, as in, “You are perfect exactly as you are,” but rather perfection in something that you do…in an act or task.

Somewhere in our upbringing, or within our societal structure, we have come up with this idea that perfection is desirable. Certainly I understand that we want to do things to the best of our ability, but for some reason, we seem to feel that perfection is a minimum standard. It is almost like we discount our worth if we cannot be perfect.

This “need” to be perfect is one of the biggest contributors to some of our issues in our lives. It discourages us from trying new things and pursuing things that we want in our lives.

For example, many of us want to do something perfectly, and since we cannot do that immediately, we refuse to try at all. Somehow we feel that a lack of perfection in what we do equates to failure. Can you imagine all of the things that have been dreamed of and then dropped because somebody was afraid they would not start out doing it perfectly? This is a normal idea in our society, and yet it is ludicrous.

Do you know how to walk? I know this sounds like a silly question. I know that you are thinking, “Geez, Don, what are you smokin’?” Let me ask you another question…did you just decide to walk one day, and then got up and walked perfectly? I’m sure you had a fall or two (or three hundred) as you learned this skill. You were far from perfect, but you kept trying. You believe that you could do it, and you didn’t have to be perfect to start doing it.

Did you have to try more than once to be able to safely drive a car? Did you ever get a problem wrong in school? Have you ever had to do something over because you messed it up the first, second, or third time? If you answered yes to any of these, then you must see where I am going with this.

You don’t have to be perfect to start. You may never be perfect at something, but you can always get better as you learn and practice doing something. Nothing worth doing in this life was ever done absolutely right the first time. Many things have never been absolutely perfect, but somebody believed they could be and they started down the path to create or do that thing…

I am encouraging you to drop the need for perfection…If you want to do something, start. That is the only way to get it done. It doesn’t matter if it won’t be perfect…it doesn’t even matter if you don’t know where to start…just start…do something…the right path will become clear as you begin to move. Soon you will have a little momentum going…then it will be a lot of momentum, and before you know it, you would not be able to stop it if you wanted to.

Perfection keeps us from moving forward. The need for it paralyzes us. We become stagnant and create a lot of inertia that must be overcome before we can move forward. Stop trying to be perfect. Just be. Just do. Create what you want in your own way. Who gave anyone else the right to judge what you do as imperfect…that is your job…that is for you alone…only if you want.

Stop “Perfection Paralysis.” Go for what you want. Do your best, and learn to do better. You do not fail by starting and being imperfect…you fail by not starting at all. The only ways to fail are to never start, or to quit before you get to where you want. These are both within your power to avoid.

Have you suffered from Perfection Paralysis in the past? Were you able to overcome it? Will you still suffer from it, or will you just get moving and start doing what you wat to do in life? Leave us a comment and let us know what you are currently moving on…or what you will move on right away that you have been avoiding for all the wrong reasons.




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