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Why You Should Overcome Perfectionism

I wanted to share a little bit my opinion on why it’s good to overcome perfectionism and why I think that it’s big problem with many individuals notably those starting online for example with their first blog, video or infoproduct.

I remember when I was a kid I would be a perfectionist up to a point. I wasn’t a perfectionist about doing my homework I remember but I was really into drawing comics and characters and I remember I always put alot of attention and detail into that work. So it came down to the interest of mine if I was striving for perfection. Of course it’s good to put your heart into things and try to do them good but sometimes it can be too much and actually work against you.

When I started studying graphic design in art school I remember that alot of times I had ignored my teachers that would often say: “Don’t overdesign it. You have to stop at one point and overcome perfectionism”. A lot of times I would never be happy, adding more and more to the subject I was drawing or sculpting and finally I had added so much that it often lost that x-factor I sometimes refer to. Something that makes a piece of art beautiful. You can’t exactly describe it but there is somekind of harmony that just makes it work. But often I would take it too far and it would just dissolve into thin air.

My art teachers were right. Don’t go overboard in designing things.

After I got myself a mentor and starting to create my own product to sell online one of the first thing he said to me and it’s one the best advice I can give forward to you is this: “If you are going to create a perfect product then you will never finish it. Make a good product but stop at some point. Don’t spend too much time on it. Just release it and get the feedback of the customers to tell you what kind of improvements to come up with for version 2.0. Then repeat.”.

This is what finally got me going and not just in product creation but with my blog, kindle publishing and also many other aspects in daily life. Sometimes I would never begin because I knew that I could not get it perfect fast enough. Now I have a new method I call “act and adjust”. For example I have done many failed attempts before on putting up blogs and websites but never actually sticking to it and producing content. One of the reasons was that I was always getting new ideas about how the design should look and thus I would go back and forth fixing the layout and design of older post until finally I was up to my neck working on it. Today I do it differently. I look at thing more like a evolution of things. If I get a new idea I mplement it in my blog but I don’t go about fixing older stuff and making everything look perfect and in harmony. It’s good to be able to “log your road to success, to be able to reflect on how things evolve, even though it might not look perfect in the beginning. It’s better to adjust as you go along and that way you can compare your results later on how things once were.

For me the blog is a bit like a logbook or a diary and later on I can go back and see how my articles have hopefully become more professional and better written and if I have reached my goal. Forget about trying to do things perfect. Do them fast but also good. Then adjust “on-the-fly”.  Get a blog going today. No matter how bad you think your blog is or how stupid you think you might sound – things will get better. You need a starting point to work from and overcome perfectionism. If you don’t know how to do something then you can learn it as you go along.  If you are going to be afraid of starting because you think what you have to say is not good enough or low quality then you have to push that fear aside. Just start to create something no matter how bad you think it is. It WILL get better as you go along and learn new things. The more you do stuff the more better you get at it. That goes for anything.

Just face the fact that not everyone will love you online. Just like in the physical world. But for every one that dislikes your content there will probably be 10 or even 100 that do like it. Your story is unique and there will be people that are going to connect with your content if your are honest and give them value.

Conclusion. Stop trying to get things perfect. Act on your idea fast. Then adjust it as you go along. It’s one of the best rule I have for myself. Overcome Perfectionism.

Hafsteinn Thordarson