Perfection is a git

Perfectionism
Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash

(I’m writing this for myself)

Perfection is a git.

It’s like Paul Burrell – a right royal pain in the arse.

Perfection stops us from putting our amazing thoughts out in the world, reduces are self-worth and, probably most damaging of all, forces us to constantly compare ourselves, our work and our value with everyone else.

Aside from the negative feelings and behaviours that come from perfectionism though, the thing that I’ve found most damaging is the sheer amount of time and effort it requires.

Perfectionism is like that overly demanding plant you have in your office – the one that needs constant watering, turning, moving (so it gets some sun, but not too much sun) and massaging and yet, when you do none of these things, still refuses to die.

Time spent on managing or trying to achieve perfectionism is time well wasted. Perfectionism brings you down. Just think of all the cool, positive and life-affirming things you could be doing with your time instead.

While I’m here looking at how a piece of writing can be even better, I could be doing other things, like clicking “post”, moving on with my life and finally finding out what my youngest child is called.

While I’m waiting for the perfect trick to come along to create a new stand-up show, I could be sat down, doing the hard work of writing, practising and creating a show without it.

While I’m Googling “the absolute most perfect training shoes for a slightly tubby 43-year-old man running in the Cheshire hills”, I could just nip to the shop, buy some shoes, get off my arse and run.

I need to remind myself that, for most things in life, things don’t have to be perfect before they have any value. For most things, 80% is good enough.

I think Seth Godin said it was the difference between something being, “good enough” and something that was “good – enough!”.

I like that (even though I’ve probably butchered both the quote and the source).

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