Perfectionism is the refusal to accept anything short of perfect, and it prevents your work from ever seeing the light of day.
Why is perfectionism about ego? Ego is your sense of self-esteem.
Here’s the belief:
- If what I make is not perfect, then I’m not perfect…
- If I’m not perfect, I’m not good enough…
- Because only perfect is good enough.￼
We don’t want to share something imperfect because we attach our identity to the image we project. We don’t want people to see us as imperfect and fallible because we are insecure.
We cling to perfectionism because it protects our insecurity.
Perfectionism is often confused with having “high standards”, but it’s not a good thing.
Your standards are unrealistically high if they cause paralysis.
You feel frustrated because the image of perfection in your mind doesn’t align with what you’ve made.
If you’re a perfectionist, I recommend setting a new goal of “90% Perfect”. By setting a limit of 90% Perfect, you’ll be able to put something out and move on. You’ll be able to say “I made it to 90% Perfect and now I’m done. It may not be perfect, but I’m done.”
The only way you can close the gap between what you’ve made and what’s in your mind is by putting out imperfect work. It will drive you crazy, and all you’re going to see are the flaws, but you have to put it out there. Accept that what you’ve made is not up to your standards, and let that drive you to make the next thing better.
This is going to be difficult to do at first. No one said it would be easy. But you need to stop patting yourself on the back for your perfectionism and high standards. Without discipline, you’re just a glorified procrastinator.