I say “recovering” because perfectionism is something you never fully overcome. Instead, you learn how to cope with your desire for perfection. At least that’s how it is for me.
Perfectionism is the #1 enemy of momentum.
If I had a dime for every time a client fussed and fiddled over every minute detail, stalling their web launch for weeks and even months, well…(let’s just say there are a lot more perfectionists out there than you’d think).
A few lessons about perfection…
Okay…if you are a fighter pilot or a neurosurgeon, ignore this Momentum Monday post: perfection is a must for you. Everyone else: ask yourself “what is the purpose, the benefit if you will, of working toward perfection?”
Just a wild guess, but perfectionism is an excellent disguise for self-sabotage. Think about it. You’re nervous about doing something new and the only way to control it is to fiddle and fret over the details. Even details that don’t matter.
“No, no, no,” you say. “I just like things to be perfect. It’s just the way I am.”
Really? That’s your standard? Anything less sucks? Because few things in life are perfect – our children, relationships, family – but we love and accept them just fine.
Coping with perfection and building momentum
#1: Recognize perfectionism – Acknowledge when perfectionism is holding you back, when you use it as a method of coping with fear, when your “higher standard” isn’t serving a purpose except to stall your forward momentum.
#2: Go with “Good is good enough” – That’s right –it’s time to settle for good, instead of perfect. From one recovering perfectionist to another, trust me – your good is everyone else’s perfection.
#3: Just get M-O-V-I-N-G – And THEN fiddle and fuss to your heart’s content. Take a lesson from facebook and just get it out there and change and adapt according to what the market wants, not what you think the market wants. It’s easier to correct course when in motion than to get moving!
#4: Get to the ESSENCE – Meaning focus on the core of what you are trying to accomplish. Start by getting the core functionality right and then add the bells and whistles.
#5: Focus on the BIG PICTURE – Your job is to get the big picture right and let others help you fill in the details. Often perfectionists struggle with letting go and waste enormous amounts of time and momentum trying to figure out every single detail.
MOMeo Momentum Monday Challenge: Put something out there that isn’t perfect. Maybe it’s a blog post with a typo or a tweet with a wrong word (like my infamous Rosemary Children for dinner tweet) and see what happens.
Trust me – it’s not as bad as you think it will be and often an honest mistake is a *perfect* conversation starter.
Got questions and/or stories about building momentum? Share them in the comments below!