The (Anti-) Perfectionist’s Manifesto
I started this article multiple times, trying to come up with a clever hook, a story, or an example to lead into my point…
And then it hit me.
The simple fact that I had been trying so hard to find the “perfect” opener was itself the perfect opener.
That’s meta AF, but here’s my point:
Perfection is the enemy of action.
At some point, you have to say “f*ck it,” and just go.
I’ll never write the “perfect” article. And if I waited until I was a “perfect” writer to share my thoughts…
I’d die unknown and unheard of.
Yet this is the flawed logic that keeps many of us trapped in lives we don’t want, living according to our fears and not our dreams.
Here’s why I think perfectionism holds people back
Somewhere along the line, we began to equate skill with success.
We bought into the idea that people who succeed in life are those who are the most skilled. The best athlete. The natural-born salesman. The smartest kid in class.
So, we set out to develop our skills as much as we could.
But we bought into a lie.
Because the people who succeed in life aren’t those who are “perfect” or even those who are the most skilled.
The people who succeed are…
In many cases, the people who succeed are just the people who are willing to take action.
They’re the people who are willing to fail.
They’re the people who recognize that failure is always temporary, so they view it as a tool for improvement, rather than an indication of their self-worth.
Done > Perfect
I used to have a whiteboard on my wall that read:
Done > Perfect
When you’re an entrepreneur, a creative, or just a human being in general, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to do things “perfectly” if you’re going to do them at all.
Yes, you should try your best. But you should also recognize that, if you wait until you achieve perfection to go after your goals…
You might be waiting a long time.
And while you’re waiting…
Someone less skilled than you and less afraid to fail is out there learning much more quickly than you.
Practicing in public is scary. Putting yourself out there and risking failure is scary. Admitting you’re still working on something and sharing it anyway is scary.
But if you really want to go after your goals, it’s necessary.
Be afraid to fail…and do it anyway.
“Done” is better than “perfect.” And action is better than inaction.