30 Aug 2012

The Problem with Perfection

Think about the last time you started a new project, learned to play an instrument or gained a new skill. Did you ever find yourself frustrated with your progress? If you decide to pick up painting, you’re bound to compare yourself to great painters and artists. When you learn a new language, of course you’re going to look at native speakers as a reference. That frustration comes because you’re judging your performance against perfection.  The problem with perfection is when you focus only on it, you fail to see your progress.

Business owners are particularly prone to judging their performance against perfection. Why? Because many business owners are driven, goal-oriented and demanding. The issue is that perfection is unattainable. When you look towards perfection and use it as your only goal, you will always fall short and eventually face real burn-out. It may drive you to great heights, but without looking down at the ground once in a while, you’re bound to end up feeling frustrated and unhappy.

Aiming high is what drives business owners and entrepreneurs. Setting your sights on goals is important. Problems arise when you fail to look back and see how far you’ve come. You will never be happy if you keep moving forward towards perfection without looking back at where you began. Measuring your growth against perfection is an unrealistic goal.

Learn to look backwards instead of forwards. Keep your goals lofty but realistic and remember to see how far you’ve come. Look at your performance this year versus last year. Take some time to appreciate how much you and your business have grown. It’s better to aim for “very good” than for “perfect.” Perfection is ultimately an intangible. Don’t aim for perfection. You will only let yourself down. Strive to be the best you can and you will be.

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