Progress over Perfection

The other day, I was sitting at the coffee shop getting some work done. When I got there, I made a quick list of what I hoped to accomplish.

The list was pretty long and I found myself making excuses for why I could put some of those tasks off. Why was I wanting to put them off?  Because I’m a serial perfectionist.

I often find myself putting tasks off, not because I don’t want to do them, but because I want to do it WELL.  Who am I kidding? I want to do them RIGHT the first time (be perfect). You see, I let perfection get in my way of getting it done.

At the coffee shop, I started to wonder how many other people with a home-based business struggle with this.

How often have you put off doing a video because you’re hair isn’t done and you’ve barely even looked in the mirror that day?

How often have you put off reaching out to someone because it’s not the right time of day? Or time of year?

How often have you decided to put something off until tomorrow because you don’t think there’s enough time to finish it today?

For me the answer is a resounding – OFTEN! Way too often. How about you?

Perfection

This is an ongoing struggle for me. I am a perfectionist. I like to do things the right way the first time, so if I think for any reason it won’t be perfect, I feel like waiting.

But being a business owner and a work from home Mom, I have realized that this is something I need to overcome.

If you’re on my fan page or a subscriber of my newsletter, no doubt you’ve seen video of mine where my hair is up and I have no make up on.  Truth is, I probably just got done at the gym – is it perfect? NO! But it’s me practicing being okay with that.

I’ve taught myself that starting something and not finishing it until the next day is okay. I’ve taught myself that things don’t always have to be perfect to be done.

If this is you – you’re not alone! But….

There’s always abut, right? Don’t let it stop you – this is the type of obstacle you need to “get over” so you can create the life you desire.

I’m not saying good enough is always okay. But I am saying that perfection is not necessary.

The Strategy

Focusing on progress over perfection is a strategy that will allow you to get more of what you want in life.

If you’re like me, when you decide on a big goal, you become paralyzed.  I think it needs to be done in the right way.  When in truth, as long as you consistently moving forward and are consistently making progress, it IS the right way!

Committing to yourself that you will focus on progress instead of a specific goal will help you avoid slipping into the trap of perfectionism or the “I can’t start until I know what I’m doing” trap.

Instead you can simply focus on what is right in front of you, what you can do RIGHT NOW.  You learn, adjust and take the next step tomorrow.

Does committing to progress over perfection mean you have to lower your standards?  No!  I still have big goals, but instead of focusing on the end goal, I focus on what is right in front of me.  I focus on the next baby step.

What are you waiting for?

Get to it – do whatever it is you’ve been putting off!  Focus on progress over perfection.

Emily Muia

I am a business owner, a "work from home" mom, a wife and a loyal friend. My passion is to remind others that we are never too old to dream and it's never too late to dream big. I want to help people create the life they've always wanted through hard work and dedication to their business.

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Janice Gill - October 6, 2017 Reply

I so get where you are coming from. It happens every time I am there with that white canvas in front of me. And some times perfection isn’t even right, especially in the world of art and photography. Technical perfection can often lack life.

Thanks for sharing

Jan Gill

    Emily Muia - October 6, 2017 Reply

    Yes Jan! I agree – impromptu with a messy bun might be way more engaging than drab with perfect hair. Thanks for commenting!

Shonda - October 6, 2017 Reply

I used to be very much a perfectionist. It was a huge determent to moving forward. But, once I simply decided that done right is better than perfect, I was able to let go of the need. Thanks for your post.

Tracy - October 6, 2017 Reply

I love that motto: Progress Over Perfection! I need to keep that in mind. I’m trying to build a business at home, and I know one effective tool is to use videos. I have several ideas to implement them, BUT, every time there’s an opportunity (“Oh! This activity would make a great video!”) I think, yes, but then I’ll have to dress up and put on make-up, blah blah blah. So the video doesn’t get made and I miss my chance. Your post is a reminder. In fact, our followers probably prefer to see us real, someone the can relate to. Thanks for the great advice!

    Emily Muia - October 6, 2017 Reply

    Yes! I’m so glad this message resonated with you. Done is better than perfect. Because if it has to be perfect, it may never get done. Plus, those impromptu experiences when you think, this would make a great video, may be better and more interesting for your audience! So just do it! Thanks for your comment!

Jill - October 6, 2017 Reply

Good words. This is a phrase I’ve learned the meaning of in my blogging. I have seen progress over the years and it’s exciting to see how far I’ve come when I spend time looking back. If I never had started, though, I’d never be where I am. And I hope to go so much further!

    Emily Muia - October 6, 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much for your comments Jill! It’s important to look where you have been and how far you’ve come sometimes so we can see our progress. Cheers!

Kebba Buckley Button - October 6, 2017 Reply

Emily, lately I have been working with myself on this very principle! And yours is the best article on perfectionism I have ever read. So I’m sharing it to FB. Thanks for a really great piece.

    Emily Muia - October 6, 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much Kebba! Music to my ears. I love being able to provide someone with value. Here’s to progress and not perfection!

Anne Zarraonandia - October 6, 2017 Reply

Hi Emily!
A big YES! I came home early today from my eBay selling to take care of a long term video project of mine. I am trying to focus an hour a day to complete it. I am trying to schedule it into my day to make it happen. Small chunks vs the large looming project has been working for me. I can always find a distraction or go into “shiny object syndrome”. I enjoyed your perspective and post. Good luck,
ANNE Z

    Emily Muia - October 6, 2017 Reply

    I love this Anne! That is exactly my philosophy too. One step at a time to make sure you get it done! There’s no time like the present. Thank you so much for your comment!

Ginette - October 6, 2017 Reply

Great post, Emily! Perfection is a killer, undoubtedly! I used to be a huge perfectionist. Less so now. Thank goodness for that. It is when I was able to let go of wanting to be perfect, that I finally embraced the artist in me. I’m really grateful for that.

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