Perfectionism is a Process

Do you wait to act on something until you have all the facts? Until you’ve mastered all the techniques?

Do you wait to try something new until you’ve gathered all the necessary ideas? Until you’re sure you’ve got it down?

It’s okay to want to be perfect. I’m a Virgo: I know.

It’s okay to gather information & develop a plan of action. That makes me happy too.

But is all the waiting necessary? What if you screw up? (You will.)

Perfectionism is a process.
Being perfect doesn’t come at step one or even step one hundred for that matter. Perfection is something to strive for but not something to get hung up on.

Perfection is about being kind to yourself on the journey so that when you hit a road block, you can figure out how to get through, how to keep working towards your ideal.

Perfection is not a starting point but an ending point that’s always just a little out of reach.

Perfection is knowing that showing up & staying accountable to yourself over time will yield the best results.

Perfection can’t be attained in the classroom. Perfection is present on the battlefield.

Your enemy is your fear of actually being good enough.

If perfectionism is keeping holding you back, remember that all things evolve and change – what looks perfect today will look old & tired tomorrow. Perfectionism is the process of making things new again, not waiting until the world stands still.

22 thoughts on “Perfectionism is a Process

  1. Okay, wow.

    This is exactly where I’m at right now. Waiting to be perfect for the fear of not being good enough.

    Printing this out so I have to read it every morning. 😉

    Thanks!

  2. Perfection to me is something that is never to be achieved. Nothing will ever be complete, it is always evolving.

    Perfection is a target to aim for but should be realized that achieving it is impossible and isn’t beneficial.

    In terms of being creative, how can anything be perfect???

    Just another ego identity issue that humans have created.

  3. Exactly.

    I used to be that girl, the one that didn’t do anything because what I had was not good enough, because I was not good enough. The need for perfection in all things is the ego having an inferiority complex. I know, I’m a Capricorn.

    Now at least I try. If I fail, I fail, that’s how I learn. Some things don’t work out, some do (sometimes much to my surprise). What is perfection to you is imperfection to others, perfection as a one-size-fits-all concept can’t be :)

  4. I’m a recovering perfectionist. Great advice that I try to practice everyday. I think part of it is fear of failure. You never fail because you never take a chance.

  5. A brilliant take on a tricky topic, Tara. I know. I’m a perfectionist. And a Virgo! I’m working on the *recovery* aspect. My, it’s a journey and a half! J x

  6. Great post! I fnally got to the place where I told myself…just do it, learn while you are doing it, make notes of these learnings and it’s okay if the first try goes to crafty heaven and I start over.

  7. If I waited for the perfect conditions, and waited until I felt adequate for every task, I’d feel paralyzed. You really nailed this topic, and I can relate completely. Good advice – thank you for a timely reminder.

  8. This really spoke to my own struggle with perfectionism. It took a long time for me to realise that my inability to complete anything was linked to a fear of the completed work being judged and found lacking. Now when I get that familiar anxiety as I reach the last 10% of a project I breathe and focus on the next step instead of thinking about the job as a whole. (helpful but by no means a cure)
    It helps to see someone else goes through the same thing.

  9. I’m not a Virgo, I’m a Libra, but I still struggle with this & like Chantelle I’ve worried that a project won’t come out right, in my mind or will be judged as not being worthy. I start lots of projects that were going great & not completed them, for fear that they’ll be judged or something will somehow go horribly wrong, at the last moment. What if it does though, however unlikely that might be? I can learn from that & move on. Life is a learning process & if you don’t ever risk failure, you also risk not learning or growing. Excellent article!

  10. as fellow virgo and perfectionist these words are a good reminder. in the past year of starting a new business i have learned to embrace my perfectionist tendencies to help me do the best that i can, but to let them go once i’ve done that. as many have already said perfection is an unattainable goal, so instead of using it as your end point use it as a guiding star to keep yourself moving forward, being braver, and achieving more.

  11. Do you wait to act on something until you have all the facts? Until you’ve mastered all the techniques? YES!

    Do you wait to try something new until you’ve gathered all the necessary ideas? Until you’re sure you’ve got it down? YES!

    And it makes my head hurt! I have so many printouts of tips, to do lists, ebooks marketing plans, sticky notes, mind maps. Finally I put them all into a big pile on the kitchen table and started to cry. – Just kidding. They are in a pile but I decided that if I wanted to start blogging then I’d better just DO it.

    Am I happy with my blog design? Not really. Could I improve it, definitely but I figured it’s better to get some content on there first and improve on the aesthetics later.

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