Perfection: Is It Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals?
My best girl friends got me into scrapbooking a few years ago. It seemed it was the perfect fit for me, as I am a creative person and I love taking photos. And I really enjoyed scrapbooking, but I was very slow at it. Deciding on the the perfect color paper to go with my photos and making sure the photos were aligned perfectly on the page took up most of my time. I watched as my friends completed page after page after page in their books while I would be sitting there for hours staring at the same incomplete page in mine.
During one scrapbooking weekend as I was stuck staring down at yet another incomplete page, my friend Jenn noticed my frustration. She leaned in to me and said, “You know, perfection is the enemy of completion.”
A bit annoyed at the interruption, I looked up at her. “Perfection is the what?”
She smiled and said, “The enemy of completion.”
My blank stare prompted her to continue. “See, if it takes us too long to finish something because we want it to be perfect, then chances are we won’t ever complete it. The need to be perfect keeps us from completing things. Perfection is the enemy of completion!” She smiled, seemingly pleased at having shared her wisdom with me.
I sat there looking down at my blank page, trying to make sense of her words.
Then Paula, who apparently got impatient with me, shouted, “Trina! What Jenn is saying is that it doesn’t need to be perfect! Just slap those photos in there and complete a page, already! Then move on!”
Well, damn. There you have it. There’s nothing like a friend to tell you how it is.
How many times in life have you put off a project because you couldn’t get it quite right? Can you look around your home right now and see a few, if not many, unfinished tasks? And if you are a blogger like me, how many posts are sitting in your “need to be published” box that are pretty darn good reads but in your mind are not yet perfect?
I’m telling you all, the need to be perfect is holding you back! Here’s a little secret Jenn and Paula taught me: That perfection thing? The only person who really cares about that is you! It’s true! Who really cares if anything is perfect? All anyone wants is to read the finished book, the article, or the blog post and be entertained or to possibly learn something. And scrapbooks are enjoyable to look at because of the memories that are in the photos, not the color of the scrap paper or embellishments. After all, a finished “imperfect” scrapbook is 100% better than having your special memories on a bunch of incomplete pages, tucked away in a box somewhere that nobody ever gets the chance to see.
I printed PERFECTION is the ENEMY of COMPLETION on a piece of paper and glanced at it often during the remainder of that scrapbooking weekend. That was my mantra all weekend long, and the result was a completed scrapbook! More importantly, those words have now become a part of me. No longer do I wait for anything to be “perfect” before I complete it. I’ve come to realize that a finished project is perfection in itself!