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When Striving for Perfection is just too much…

August 25, 2015



Aaaah…perfection! Who knew one word could cause so many problems? We’re told from a very young age that practice makes perfect. I used to counter that argument by saying, “Yes, but nobody is perfect, so why practice?” My piano teacher never appreciated my fine skills of logic!


Perfection somehow became my standard. After all, if I don’t have time to do it right the first time, I certainly will not have time to RE-do it the second time. Knowing when it is better to do it “perfectly” or just to accomplish the task is difficult for many of my clients as well. We’re even seeing that with Congress right now – they push legislation through and then say they will see if anything needs to be corrected after it is rolling.


Is something better than nothing? Is done better than perfect? How hard is it to do it right the first time? Wouldn’t that save us a lot of headaches in repairing the damage or undoing what’s been done?


I freeze up when trying to accomplish something because it is not perfect yet. My perfectionism has led to something worse: procrastination. There are baby pictures of my 15-year-old still in boxes because I cannot finish his scrapbook; unfinished projects around the house because I don’t have time to do them perfectly; ideas put back on the shelf or in a filing cabinet because they’re not quite ready. How many of you have had a great idea before someone else did, except they did something with it and made it big, instead of you? Procrastination only produces one thing: frustration.


If I am striving for perfection, I will always fail. So now, I strive for excellence. 


This recent epiphany (courtesy of a friend) made me realize my own personal struggle with perfectionism. Interestingly enough, I have always taught my clients that we are not trying to achieve perfection, but efficiency.


This perfectionism mindset is a common reason for clutter in homes and offices. So many of us are waiting to find just the RIGHT system to snap us into shape and in the meantime, we live in chaos. We keep putting off to tomorrow what should be done today, hoping we can do it better then. We tell ourselves we will have more time tomorrow to complete a project, but tomorrow is already booked too!


Face it – our homes and offices will never be perfect. But are they better? Can we accept it and be proud of our efforts, even if it’s not completely perfect? Consider it a work in progress, realizing your needs will continue to change as your life does. We live in a world which is constantly changing as new ideas, technology and solutions are being developed. So, even that which is “perfect” today will not be tomorrow. So, DO something today – and tomorrow, you can do it even better!


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