Trying to be perfect is the easiest way to ruin your efforts.

When we strive for perfection what we’re really trying to do is materialize the impossible. That’s not to say that striving to be the best isn’t a good thing but there needs to be a point where you are okay with the results from your effort.

The reason for this is that it’s very easy to get sucked into a never-ending cycle of nit-picking, tweaking, and changes. What started off as a project with clear goals became a Frankenstein-like monster that continues to grow and grow and grow out of proportion. Soon it’s too much to handle.

You see this all the time:

  • Someone is trying to build the perfect website free of errors, extensive in content, perfect for conversions, authoritative, and viral.
  • Someone is trying to continually tweak and update their product to the point that they’re delaying the launch by weeks, months, years, and the indefinite.
  • Someone is trying to build a perfect routine, physical physique, mental clarity, and sociability to be a so-called “well-rounded” individual.

Their efforts are sincere but while they take a great deal of time perfecting their projects there are others that find their “sweet spot”, hit the market, and place these individuals in a corner.

Give up on perfectionism.

It’s only slowing you down.

You have to realize:

  • Even the best individuals, teams, and companies in their market do not have the perfect product or service. They are still making updates but at least it’s out there earning them revenue, building a following, and garnishing feedback.
  • You have to get something out sooner than later. It’s better to begin earning from your efforts from an early stage than taking so long that the community you’ve built has already moved on.
  • Information and interests are volatile which means what’s in demand this year could fall out of favor or value in the next – so you have to reach a point where you have something for the consumer before it’s too late.

Think of all those times you’ve had wonderful ideas where you spent hours of your time researching every bit of information to make sure you started perfectly. All that time you put into perfecting the project. You took so long that you didn’t notice someone went ahead and released a similar project and *boom* now you’re frustrated because you’ve missed the opportunity. You also feel the need to “one up” this other individual which further delays your launch because “it has to be more”.

Do this instead:

  • Set your goals in stone. Create a game plan and timeline that has a definitive date as to when you launch. Work on the core features of your project to meet this deadline. Anything that doesn’t make the deadline gets axed (or at least added later on through an update or the next version of your product).
  • Adhere to the 80/20 rule. Understand that what you make doesn’t have to be in its true 100% form. People are okay if there are some imperfections. They rather have that product in their hand or use that service now than having to wait until you finally decide that it’s done.
  • Don’t get too emotional. Look, it’s a truly wonderful thing when you see an artist finally complete their masterpiece after decades of hard work but sit down and ask yourself do you really want to dedicate a life to doing just one thing? Try to cut the emotional connection you have with the project. You can only do better if you have something to show. Being stuck in project limbo doesn’t give you the chance to hear real feedback from users. There is always room for improvement but you’ll never know if it isn’t released.

Think about what’s stopping you from completing that project you’ve been working on.

Is it because you’re afraid that it’s going to receive a negatively and you don’t want to face that feeling of failure? Or is it because you don’t know what would happen if it was a success?

Speculation is like worrying. There’s no reason for it if it’s out of your control.

Stop being a perfectionist in every action you take. Learn to say “okay, this is enough”.

Have you self-sabotaged yourself by trying to be a perfectionist?