Photo credit: Jan McLaughlin via Compfight
We want it to be perfect. Just right. Nothing else will do. We edit and re-edit. Sometimes we get stuck in the analysis stage where we play out many different scenarios in our minds. But nothing feels right. It does not have the right ring to it, we might tell ourselves. We pride ourselves to be our best and worst critic.
In our best effort to put out work that is well received, we sometimes make the folly of not putting it out there at all. We doubt ourself and second guess our ideas and creations. The truth is that we don’t really know what the response is going to be like and to avoid the discomfort of the uncertainty we just put it off.
I know. I was there and in some ways I am still there sometimes.
But I know better now. I know my perfectionism will be the failure to launch of my work if I allow it. The feeling that we are somehow inferior to someone else out there or the deep seated fear of feeling inauthentic stops us dead in our tracks. We start doubting our work. We do not launch our work because the other option of being stuck in finding the perfect cure is more appealing, more safe, more comfortable.
But who cares? No one really cares about our work being perfect. People only care if you can provide them value. People care if you have the courage to put your best foot out there and then change your course when required. In other words, people love strong beliefs. People love people with strong convictions who are willing to put their best work out there. They feel the energy of belief and confidence. Not the fear of perfectionism.
Now perfectionism is not a bad thing at all. After all, it gets a lot of great work done. But the question you need to ask yourself is whether perfectionism is preventing you to launch your best work and consistently so. Over and over. Whether you fail or you succeed, you launch your work. Because there is nothing else that you would rather be doing.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Perfection: Your work will never be perfect. Accept it. Launch anyways. Let it out.
2. Realization: If you feel stuck, ask yourself if your perfectionism is disallowing your work to be placed out in the world. Hit send anyways.
3. The Launch: Reframe your point of view. Remember that no one cares if you are a struggling perfect person. All they care about is what value can your unique voice provide to them. If you have belief in your work and you are unafraid to put it out there and willing to take input, rest assured that people will like your work.
4. Improvisation: After you launch and get input from others, you can always improvise and adapt your work to the best possible match to what they need. You fine tune the combination of your work, your strengths and skills and what others really need from you.
5. Flex your muscle: The more you launch and fail in spite of perfectionism, the more your muscle will be built. Use it or lose it.
6. Allowing: You are indeed special and wonderful and you will be appreciated. But you have to reach out and connect first. And that means being all right with the feeling of risk and being rejected and not being and looking perfect. In other words, being human!
And finally, let us not hide our anxieties behind the mask of perfectionism, and believe, work out, create, launch and connect with others. And next time you may not have to say- “Hey, I thought of that idea years before. Now someone else has implemented it.”
What do you think? Do you think perfectionism has created launch problems for you in the past or in the present? I would love to hear from you!