This isn’t your average business post. Instead of sharing quick tips on improving some aspect of your brand (we’ve covered that quite a bit on the blog, btw), we’re going to dig a little deeper and deal with one of the biggest killers of productivity: perfectionism.
Writer Anne Lamott called perfectionism “the voice of the oppressor,” and researcher and author Brene Brown straight up argued that attempting to be perfect makes you less successful.
“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life,” Brown wrote. “Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”
In spite of perfectionism’s detrimental effects on our lives and businesses, many of us still struggle to be perfect, which in turn results in extra stress, frustration, and often times, inaction.
As a professional writer and writing coach who has helped many overcome writer’s block–which is often just the fear of not being perfect rearing its ugly head–I’ve found that perfectionism is just another form of procrastination. It can paralyze you from making any sort of progress in your work, life, and business because you don’t want to make a mistake or get things wrong.
So what should you do instead of stress about being perfect?
Just keep working.
At the end of 2017 I began a fitness journey. I did a lot of research, weighed my options, and decided on following a weightlifting program. Along the way I’ve had moments where I’ve freaked out over whether not I was doing it properly, if I was eating the right things at the right time, or if there was something I could have been doing better. While I continued to scour Google and Reddit for answers, there was one thing I absolutely did not do–quit.
Even though it’s been hard, and imperfect, I’ve kept going. And you know what? It’s working. I’m not only a lot stronger, but I’ve lost some weight, too, and I feel great.
The same principles apply to your brand.
Sure, it would be great to have a gorgeous, well-curated Instagram page but you shouldn’t avoid utilizing the platform because you haven’t figured out how to make it happen yet. Instead, you could research how to beautify your IG feed, invest in resources that would help, or hand over the reins to a professional. And yes, a functional and professionally designed website will help you stand apart from your competition, but you shouldn’t put your ideas on hold until you can figure out how to make one or afford to hire someone who can.
JUST. KEEP. GOING.
Making strategic moves is invaluable to your brand, but so is consistent action. While it would be awesome to be able to perfectly execute each one of your goals, life (and business) doesn’t work that way. Sometimes you have to start before you’re 100% ready to get the ball rolling and experience success, and other times there are setbacks and challenges that test your ability to bounce back. But you can overcome every obstacle by showing up every day, doing your absolute best, and putting in the work.
Here’s what I know for sure: Progress beats perfection every day of the week. Because as Dwayne Johnson once said, “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”