Don't Shoot For Perfection

You create value for others and look for validation from others. Feedback is important and it is good to know when people get real value out of something you build. Many people love to tell you how bad or how good you are doing, but at the end of the day, you and only you know the work that went into creating that value. Sure, people thought it was good, but could people have thought it was great? Did you really put your all into something?

I struggle with this a lot, I am my worst critic. I get praise and validation from others but deep down I know I could have done better. I could have worked harder, stayed up later, and poured my heart into a body of work. I always question, “what if?” What if I would have done this or incorporated that? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. This feeling of guilt that engulfs me is derived from my desire to create perfection. However, nothing I do will be perfect. I have had to come to grips with that and it has been the most liberating thing ever. To hold my work up against a theoretical perfect version of anything I create is unhealthy. It is not realistic. I share this with you because I understand what it is like to want to create the perfect body of work. I know what it is like to put off hitting that publish button because if it isn’t perfect, everyone will “hate” it.

I am hear to say that it is better to create today and published your flaw filled work. The flaws make it human and unique. The work you share with the world is far more perfect than anything you keep stored away in the back of your closet. It doesn’t matter how great your work is unless you share it with others.

The key to overcoming this perfectionist mindset is to not shoot for perfection but excellence. You should push yourself to create excellent work. Excellence is a tangible bar you can reach with enough effort. So go build something, yes indeed pour your heart into it, but even if there are flaws, it can still be your most excellent work. When you strive for excellence, hitting that publish button becomes a lot easier. You carry pride and confidence with your work knowing you did you very best.

Excellence > Perfection

Gregory AlexanderComment