Overcoming Perfection Paralysis in Five Easy Steps

Have you ever heard of Perfection Paralysis?  I hadn’t until just a few years ago. The best definition I could find this: “Perfection paralysis is a trick your mind plays on you in an attempt to keep you safe. Whenever you are about to put a piece of yourself into the world (say by starting a new business or asking someone out on a date) you form an idea of it in your mind first.”

Starting a new business or asking somebody on a date are both super scary things, and it’s understandable that your mind would try to protect you from those type of large decisions.  But what about smaller things, like organizing your house or completing a project – or starting something new, like a budget? Perfection paralysis is alive and well in those tasks, too.  

I have ideas for two new programs in my business that need to be written and you better believe I’ve found a million other things to keep me busy this week rather than start on either of them.  Why? Because what if they fail? What if I put them out in the world and nobody cares?  That’s scary stuff, I doubt anybody would disagree. So how do I move past it?

Step one –

Make a to do list.  I put those tasks as priority one each day – not to be completed, but to work on them.  That’s a big difference because I don’t overwhelm myself thinking they have to be perfect and done today.  I just know I need to spend 20 minutes working on those things. That’s not as scary.

Step two –

Make my intentions public.  Do you see the point of this blog now? LOL. In addition to saying in this blog that I’m writing two new programs, I’ve also told several people in person.  Now if I don’t do it, I’ll look silly, and I don’t like to do that unless it’s on purpose.  

Step three –

Remind myself daily why this is important to me.  I can easily spend my time doing side hustles and making small impacts, but these programs have the ability to make a really big impact on a lot of people that desperately need it.  

Step four –

Blast music and get to work.  This may not be your style, but it works for me. Find what works to make you feel awake and inspired.

Step five –

This might be the most important step.  Accept that done is done and perfect is not done. Nothing and nobody is perfect.  I tell my seven year old this on an almost daily basis and it’s time I start believing it myself.

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