How to get over perfectionism

Published on Nov 28, 2022

Writing this feels a bit meta and here’s why: I don’t think it will reveal anything you don’t necessarily know but I am willing to put it out there even if it could be mediocre or revealing nothing new. 

This is the very answer to perfectionism: being willing to do things imperfectly. 

There is no way that you can become good at something without doing it badly. 

And while you’re staying in your head, thinking of all the ways you could improve something to perfection, the rest of the world who needs your genius gets absolutely nothing. At the same time, your inaction keeps you stagnant and also learning absolutely nothing, other than theory.

Your prompt for overcoming perfectionism is this:

I am willing to (insert the thing you are putting off doing until you are or it is perfect)

Yes, this sounds easier in theory than it is in practice. Because being willing to take imperfect action also requires courage, and being open to having a whole range of experiences, including bad one.

It requires you to be willing to be bad, then mediocre. 

That doesn’t mean you will be bad or mediocre. Perfectionists rarely set out to deliver something less than amazing. And your bad or mediocre could be someone’s gold standard.

Because this is the thing with perfectionism- it’s impossible to measure, to evaluate. It’s an impossible and vague standard that your brain keeps you to, so that you never actually do anything that might feel even slightly uncomfortable.

I am willing to____

This gets you in action, in imperfect action that will teach you, that you can tweak and learn from.

I am willing to let people have opinions about my work without me worrying about it.

I am willing to be uncomfortable networking so that my business moves forward.

I am willing to have mediocre sales months while I experiment with new ideas.

I am willing to say yes to this project even though I have no idea how I will do it.

I am willing to speak to people about my idea even though it’s not fully formed.

Now you try it:)



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