“Get it wrote don’t get it right” that’s what my partner says to me as I ruminate over another blog. The advice came from a university tutor who undoubtably came across a lot of perfectionists like me.
School and university are a hotbed of perfection. You don’t just need to be able to write legibly. It needs to be neat. You don’t just need to get a 2:1. It needs to be a “good” 2:1 (although I can’t remember any employer ever asking to see the precise exam grades from my degree!).
In the workplace you are at the mercy of the spelling and punctuation pedant. The frustrated member of staff who storms downstairs on a Tuesday morning to lambast you about an affect/ effect faux par you’ve made.
It’s little wonder I’ve procrastinated a good few years of my life away trying to get that essay or email right. Find the correct answer. Present the information correctly. Describe everything precisely to avoid confusion. Choose my words carefully to prevent offence. Second guessing every possible interpretation.
Perfectionism sounds like a virtue. In reality it’s unachievable and incredibly limiting. It’s the voice of Perfectionsta, the little diva in my head (or as Richard Carson called it your Gremlin). It is there reminding me: “You better get this spot on or you will…lose money/ lose friends/ lose time/ look stupid!”.
If Pasteur or even Zuckerberg had been perfectionist we might never have experienced major scientific and technological breakthroughs based on iteration. Great things happen when we put ourselves and our imperfect ideas out there in the real world and then work on improving them.
For me it’s time to face up to the Perfectionista one step at a time. You’re right little diva I am never going to sit down and write a Pulitzer prize winner first time. But I will get it wrote on this blog and work on getting it right gradually.
What about you?
- What one thing is your inner Perfectionista holding you back from doing?
- What’s that little diva telling you? Recognise it.
- How will you sidestep her/him to do what you want to?
Want to kick your inner Perfectionista to the curb?
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