If you find it hard to complete things because they are “not good enough” yet, you’re letting perfect be the enemy of good.
What I mean is that sometimes we have this idea of an ideal, the perfect, and we are striving to reach it.
But you never will.
Because perfection is impossible. Give yourself permission, right now, to NOT be perfect. None of us are perfect and none of us ever achieve perfection.
And this idea of perfection is holding people back, it’s paralyzing. What you need is “good enough” or even “bad but finished”.
If your business page isn’t perfect, that’s fine, as long as it’s good enough.
If your emails aren’t perfect, that’s okay as long as they’re good enough and you get your message out.
Your exercise routine probably isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t matter as long as you get yourself moving regularly it’s good enough.
Buying a new car is fraught with decisions and for many people anxiety. But you don’t need to find the perfect car! You just need to find one that is good enough for your purposes.
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? It’s also known as the 80-20 rule which states that it usually takes 20 percent of the time to complete 80 percent of a task. However, to complete the last 20 percent of the task, it takes 80 percent of the effort.
So at 80 percent completion, can you perhaps declare it “good enough”? What else do you need to do to finish right now? Knowing that that last 20 percent takes 80 percent of the effort and that perfection is impossible, it makes no sense to continue working away at something that is already good enough.
Perfection is especially detrimental to creativity. Let me give you a quick experience of this. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. I want you to come up with 5 great ideas for booking games. They must be new ideas, creative, and innovative, and perfect. You have 5 minutes….start now!
Do you have any ideas yet?
Okay. Grab a new piece of paper and write down 5 bad ideas for sponsoring people in your organisation. Just 5 ridiculously bad recruiting ideas. You have 5 minutes again….go now!
Do you have ideas now?
What happened? If you’re like most people, you had a lot more ideas in the second activity because you gave yourself permission to come up with any and all ideas. Most people find it easier and more fun than the first activity, where you were looking for great ideas. Trying to be great or perfect stifles creativity. It paralyzes you.
Now what would happen if you actually put on a timer for ten minutes, wrote down every bad idea for sponsoring games, recruiting seeds, conversation starters, etc. that you could think of? I think you’ll you would write down plenty of bad ideas and some good enough ideas that could actually work.
Letting go of perfection is freeing.
Giving yourself permission to do it “badly” lets you get on with the job and get things done. And by getting things done you keep the momentum going.
So how do you ensure that what you do is actually good enough? By focusing on the process. Try to make the process better, don’t focus too much on the end result. For example, by making your parties and events more enjoyable for you, for the host and for the guests, you will increase sales, bookings and recruiting leads.
By doing the process well, the result will be better. So that’s where you want to focus your improvements, not on the end result.
Because focusing too much on the end result makes you needy, locks you up, takes the joy out of the process and leads to perfectionism.
And perfection is the enemy of good and the enemy of done.