How Perfectionism Holds You Back
Life Lessons

How Perfectionism Holds You Back

I once considered myself a perfectionist and it robbed and drained my joy. As someone with a Virgo sun placement, one of my natural tendencies is to overcheck everything and make sure that it’s perfect. However, as years went by, I realized how unhappy and uncontended I am. There seems to be an endless list of things to improve. I was never good enough for myself. I delayed starting anything because it was not “polished” and “perfect” enough. This desire for perfection became my worst enemy. 

After all, what’s “perfect”? No matter how amazing something is, there will always be room for improvement. No matter how good you are at something, you can still be better. It comes to a point when we realize that there is no peak. All there is is growth and progress. Perfection, in our human experience, is technically unachievable. It may also be something that differs from perception. Someone may view something as figuratively perfect but others may not feel the same way. 

By being perfectionists, we find ourselves trying to achieve something that may not be possible. We refuse to put something out there, fearing judgment from others, fearing that our grammar is not correct enough, our layout and aesthetic not beautiful enough, and so on. It hampers our progress and we keep finding more and more things to change. It costs us our time, our peace of mind, and most importantly, the improvement and experience that comes with allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. 

What we often forget is that what makes us better is doing the thing we want to get better at. It is the process that gives us room to excel. As James Clear, author of Atomic Habits puts it: 

“It’s not the quest to achieve one perfect goal that makes you better, it’s the skills you develop from doing a volume of work.”

Basically, as an example, if you want to be a successful Youtuber, you have two choices. You can either learn everything, buy all the equipment you see Youtube pros use, create that “perfect” video for months, and finally post it, or you can start with what you have, learn with each video, and make good progress by learning from your mistakes and honing your craft. This can be applied to everything, whether you are into art, business, or even sports.

We may not always like the feeling of putting something out there that “still needs improvement” but it is much harder to strive for perfection and waste our young years trying to fit into this standard.  It is the momentum we build by taking consistent action that will bring us success. Strive to show up rather than prepare endlessly for weeks and months just to arrive at one “perfect” thing.

Remember to enjoy the process and be gentle with yourself. 

Hope this helped you!