Focus on Progress Not Perfection

Perfection can be a slippery slope. Waiting until something is perfect could very well have you missing out on what’s occurring right now, and set you up to feel like a failure over and over.


Yes, I am a big advocate for failing; getting back up, going again, and again and again, but there are those of us who don’t even start, or who think we will be happier when we reach some end goal that is “perfect” in our mind.


Perfectionism keeps us in a box; a very small one. It keeps us from stepping out of our comfort zone and holds us in a pattern of living in the “when, then” mindset. For example, “When I am 20 pounds thinner, then I will be happy.”  “When I make x dollars, then I will be successful.” You get the idea.


I find it more empowering to keep my focus on Progress; the progress that happens each and every day, with each and every workout, with each and every idea and with each and every attempt to do something new.


Because the truth is, we are always making progress in some way, as long as we are continuing to take action. If you are working out every day, you are making progress. If you are eating healthy, but maybe slip up here and there, you are still making progress. If you have a project due, and you take the first step toward getting it done, that is progress.


I know you’ve heard this from me time and again, but I will say it again right here. Get er’ done! That’s right, just do it; whatever that thing is you need to do. Don’t let perfectionism (fear) hold you back because you may get rejected, feel like a failure or not do it perfectly. Isn’t it better to say you at least took action toward something, then to not have started at all?


Here are ways I continue to move forward even when perfectionism shows up in my life:


1.    Make a list of all the things I need to do and chunk each thing down into small measurable goals.

2.    Focus on the positive in my life. Be grateful for what I have instead of putting my energy into what’s not working in my life.

3.    Be of service in the world. There is nothing better to move us out of perfectionism than showing up for others in a big way.

4.    Take imperfect action. As long as I’m taking action, it doesn’t need to be perfect. It still means progress.

5.    Cut yourself some slack. Being perfect is exhausting. Embrace who you are right now, not who you will be some day down the road, because the truth is, that day may never come. Life is short.


In closing, I will say that perfectionism wears on us. It wears on our soul and how we show up in life, and holds us back from doing the things we need to be doing. Don’t let it run your life, take action anyway no matter how it looks.