On Making It ‘Perfect’

by | Dec 6, 2013 | Random | 1 comment

I’m a perfectionist…

– I heard this phrase, AND repeated it myself, way too often.

When in fact, perfection doesn’t exist.

Look closely at the image above: does it seem perfect to you? Or does it make you somewhat irritated? Can you spot that the letter is slightly thicker, higher than the other letters, and closer to than it’s supposed to be?

I’m certain that some of you noticed this ‘outrageous design mistake’ instantly, while others – you might have missed it completely if I haven’t so bluntly pointed it out, am I right?

See, so often we find ourselves working on a project, presentation, a blog post or anything else up until all the tiny little details feel just perfect. 

What we don’t realise is that perfect doesn’t exist outside of our mind – what we know is supposed to be perfect will be completely unknown or irrelevant to the others, the mistakes that we accidentaly made will stay unnoticed (unless you pointed them out), even the experiences some perceive perfect will not evoke any emotions to the others.

[Tweet “‘Perfect’ doesn’t exist outside of our mind.”]

Yet we find ourselves trapped in the pursuit of perfection, wasting our time on irrelevant things or not even starting, and I couldn’t be a better example – I’ve drafted a number of blog posts and have even more ideas that I want to share, yet I haven’t published anything in four months. Why?

Exactly the same reason… I like to write long, informative blog posts, spending a great amount of time doing research, checking sources, designing images, working on search engine optimisation and making sure that everything, I mean everything, is just perfect – and unless I’m 110% satisfied, the blog post will not be published. Even scarier – this sense of responsibility for perfection can become so dreadful that I might not even start writing in the first place…

So is there anything we can do?

Luckily, YES.

First, realise that you are the only one who knows how the end result is supposed to look like: if you forgot to include some information – no-one will ever know, if the font is not right – no-one will ever know, if you couldn’t find the perfect image – no-one will ever know, so stop obsessing about it!

Second, and most importantly, change the question you’re asking yourself: instead of “Is this perfect already?“, ask yourself “Will this be sufficient?“. Will this be sufficient to evoke emotions, to change perceptions, to solve people’s problems, to influence them to take action, to make a desired change?

You can always find something to add or improve, but it will only lead to paralysis. Forget about not being perfect, get over with the fear and move ahead

As long as you’ve reached the desired outcome, you have succeeded, and that’s all that matters.

So… Have I?

P.S. have you noticed the typo in accidentally? Exactly 🙂