Is perfectionism a problem for you? It really is for me.

26 replies
It paralyzes me. Enough said.

Any advice?
#perfectionism #problem
  • Profile picture of the author kcorps
    I wish I could help, but I don't have any good suggestions, I am struggling with this type of problem too.

    To me, sometimes I think that my ideas are so good that I want my content to be absolutely perfect when I publish it.
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  • Profile picture of the author HowardJackson
    Perfectionism is a problem for most of the people.

    As a general rule of thumb, if it's 75% good, then it's good enough.

    Plus, always apply the 20/80 rule to your life and work. 20% of your work will bring 80% of the income. So if you're going to be a perfectionist, at least do it on the 20%, where it will really matter.

    But, most of the time, good enough is good enough.

    "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king".


    Take care,
    Howard J.
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  • Profile picture of the author Easy Cash
    Perfectionism is a MASSIVE problem.

    Someone I work with is a huge perfectionist. They are so anal retentive it is not funny. The time wasted is signficiant.

    However, it is good to cover the detail, but where do you stop? Like HowardJackson says, 75% is good enough.

    Remember, most humans accept a lower standard as a 'general standard'.

    The key is to look at it objectively, get other people's opinions, review, make changes and then wrap it up.

    You want to cover enough detail to 'get you over the line' and maybe a little bit more.

    Anymore than that is wasting time and money
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    • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
      Originally Posted by Easy Cash View Post

      Perfectionism is a MASSIVE problem.

      Someone I work with is a huge perfectionist. They are so anal retentive it is not funny. The time wasted is signficiant.

      However, it is good to cover the detail, but where do you stop? Like HowardJackson says, 75% is good enough.

      Remember, most humans accept a lower standard as a 'general standard'.

      The key is to look at it objectively, get other people's opinions, review, make changes and then wrap it up.

      You want to cover enough detail to 'get you over the line' and maybe a little bit more.

      Anymore than that is wasting time and money
      Good reply, I agree with the question where do you stop? Getting people's opinion and review is a great idea. There is always room for improvement in every little detail..
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    • Profile picture of the author Katharin
      Originally Posted by Easy Cash View Post

      However, it is good to cover the detail, but where do you stop? Like HowardJackson says, 75% is good enough.
      I think you stop when you cross the line from "this needs to be perfect" and get into the "wait, I'm perfecting it so much that I'm losing some of it's punch" territory. It can easily happen. It's difficult to adapt to the "sometimes less is more powerful" thing but many times it's true.

      I have a friend like that... he'll write something that's absolutely perfect but then start having brainstorms about things to add and it just tends to get weaker and weaker the more he tries to "perfect" it.
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  • Profile picture of the author 91213
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    • Profile picture of the author webwriter
      I have a problem with perfectionism as well. It took me about 10 months before I finally completed an ebook on article writing that I thought was simply perfect. Well, it seemed to be at the time.

      But I've since learned that as perfect as I tried to make that ebook, I still didn't achieve perfection. I wanted to expand and revise it, but when I looked at it again, I thought that much of it sucked. Back to the drawing board.

      The lesson I learned was to produce a good product, but avoid wasting hours and hours editing and revising it. Also, there is no such thing as perfection in this earthly existence.

      Now, if I can apply that lesson completely to my latest project..... :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author SmashTweet
        I endorse - it is a problem. Too much of analysis paralyzes the process.
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        You may only be someone in the world, but to someone else, you may be the world.

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      • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
        Originally Posted by webwriter View Post

        I have a problem with perfectionism as well. It took me about 10 months before I finally completed an ebook on article writing that I thought was simply perfect. Well, it seemed to be at the time.

        But I've since learned that as perfect as I tried to make that ebook, I still didn't achieve perfection. I wanted to expand and revise it, but when I looked at it again, I thought that much of it sucked. Back to the drawing board.

        The lesson I learned was to produce a good product, but avoid wasting hours and hours editing and revising it. Also, there is no such thing as perfection in this earthly existence.

        Now, if I can apply that lesson completely to my latest project..... :-)
        Goal oriented people never suck themselves up at being perfect because they are more focused on the end result than the way to make the outcome perfect. Remember, the outcome of the goal IS PERFECT. Focus always and only at the end result. Leave the rest to god.

        Getting what you want is perfectionism. Focus ONLY on the end result

        Almost all perfectionist suck at time management in terms of focusing on the most important goals of their life. So focus on the end result you want MOST and you'll succeed anyway else your demands/expectations will KILL your mind crazy. If you keep looking at whether the color blue is the perfect one for your banner campaign, you'll waste time thinking whether you'll be successful or not. Is this what you want to experience? Yes, or NO? NO!

        Focus on achieving your BIGGER GOALS, the rest will fall in place. And you can improvise from time to time no matter what. Don't get mad at your self just because you're not getting exactly what you desire therefore feeling like a loser. Think about gaining than losing.

        Here's my quote:

        Those who don't think about achieving their goals end up losing everything they already have. - Ronak Shah

        Everything is PERFECT. It's just the way you look at it. - Ronak Shah
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    I am definitely a perfectionist, and yes, it's something that can waste time if you allow it.

    When I was in TV news, there were times when I had to be ok with putting something on the air that wasn't "perfect" - there was nothing wrong with it, mind you, but there were definitely times that I knew I could have tweaked it a bit, or got a better shot of something, etc. But, if you miss your deadline, it doesn't matter how perfect the story was - no one's going to see it! Conversely, there were stories I had more time to work on, and I was able to let my perfectionism take over

    There's nothing wrong with a bit of perfectionism. It can help you do great things. The key is to keep it under control so that it doesn't keep you from being efficient.
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  • Profile picture of the author VHQ
    I can definitely relate to this.

    For some reason - even though I'm not a designer - it's the "look" of a site which gets to me the most. If something isn't quite right I'll sit for hours until it's fixed and I'm happy. The visuals of a website are hugely important in my opinion so if you can take the time to get them right, then it's definitely worth it.

    Design = my area of perfectionism.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi vicalexan,

    Engrain this idea on your mind. Repeat it to yourself over and over:

    "I am not afraid to fail."

    Being paralyzed by perfectionism is the fear of not being perfect. Since you fear never being good enough, you figure "what's the use?", and never move into action.

    It's just a fear, and fear is a state of mind which comes and goes at our beck and call.

    Don't fear to make mistakes for if you don't make any you won't get ahead in life.

    Ryan Biddulph
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    • Profile picture of the author Vogin
      You know, the saying "Nobody is perfect" really applies. As someone in The Challenge said:

      "You don't have to be perfect, you just have to be a bit better than the others."
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomSmith
    Its not a problem, its a gift. But you need to learn how to tame it. Understand nothing is going to be perfect, get the task done and release it. You'll notice other will love your work.
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    "All men dream, but not equally...The dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."
    -T.E. Lawrence
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  • Profile picture of the author drmacavinta
    It's not a problem being a perfectionist! The problem is Time Management. You need to FOCUS - Follow On a Course Until Successful!

    Also, another thing you should begin to change your mindset from Ready, Aim, Fire to Ready, FIRE, Aim.

    What the I mean by this. Too many people spend time getting ready then aiming but NEVER firing. One needs to get Ready, FIRE, then Aim.

    Learn what you need to learn (Ready), get a product out there for sale either by becoming an Affiliate or Creating One - Take MASSIVE Action (FIRE), then Aim (Tweak, assess, evaluate what you could have done better).

    Then, do it again Ready, FIRE, Aim!

    Remember, Don't Just Do It like in Nike...You MUST MAKE it HAPPEN!

    Do NOT FORGET you are now a Warrior! Warriors are Brave!

    Best to you! May Success be on your Door step!

    Money Follows Speed! So, Acting Has Its Advantage!
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin04
    Re Perfectionism

    With our work, we find that "Perfectionism" ultimately arises from false, non-serving imprints or beliefs that one has accumulated and retained in one's sub-conscious mind at some stage in the past.

    "Perfectionism" is in essence a false "software program" that is running in the background that can easily create havoc at any time. It is operating just underneath the surface ... it only has to be triggered.

    As a consequence of the first occurrence of "Perfectionism" that has been retained in the sub-conscious mind, multiple other "perfectionism" events tend to stack up on top of the first retained occurrence and reinforce this trait making it more and more ingrained as a more significant habit.

    Thus, those with this trait, tend to show this pattern long term. While it is possible to override it consciously for short periods of time, it will tend to re-appear at some stage in the future in some shape or form.

    For example, if the very first episode of "perfectionism" related to a conversation with a parent on how organized you kept you room as a child, it may re-appear later on in the form that stops you from having the IN LOVE relationship as your sub-conscious mind may well be saying to you that no one is "perfect" enough for you. One will tend to look for and find any reason why another human is not compatible with Self.

    This original "Perfectionism" instance was in fact, only a way of the child getting attention and saying to anyone who understood this ... I DON'T FEEL LOVED, APPRECIATED or UNDERSTOOD - Please LOVE ME as I am hurting so much!

    The issue here is that ONCE this feeling of being UNLOVED is present and is embedded in the sub-conscious mind of the child ... it HAS TO BE IDENTIFIED and REMOVED. This release of all sub-conscious imprints is the path to Spiritual Freedom. If an adult or professional recognises the issue and changes are made, but the imprint is not dealt with and removed in a very special way in the child ... this feeling of being unloved will be retained PERMANENTLY FOR LIFE creating havoc and multiple consequences!

    In this above relationship example, men and women may become so focused on something else instead, due to these non-serving sub-conscious imprints or retained baggage. This is in essence a way of sub-consciously avoiding what someone really wants, e.g. the IN LOVE relationship.

    So work is very commonly used as an excuse for not having enough time or a desire for the magical IN LOVE relationship. Thus, someone will tend to justify their work as the reason for the lack of this relationship ..... whereas in reality it is Self-sabotage as a function of the sub-conscious mind's programming!

    How often do you find people so focused on money or work ... and they don't have a successful IN LOVE relationship?

    The real cause lies with some imprints, such as "perfectionism" or other areas that are playing themselves out from the software programming in their sub-conscious mind.

    What people say and what they really feel or mean underneath is very often totally different. Most people will not know, understand or verbalise that they have felt UNLOVED since they were a child!

    One of the main issues with these sub-conscious imprints or items of baggage is that no one knows most imprints that are actually present within oneself.

    Someone else has to test and identify ALL non-serving imprints or items of baggage in anyone's sub-conscious mind ... way back to one's early childhood days ...and then with the co-operation of that man, woman or child .... remove this total baggage permanently. Once these imprints are released ... they can never come back .. they are gone for good!

    Interestingly, everyone without fail who has had one or more non-serving "perfectionism" imprints in their sub-conscious mind, had their very first item of non-serving imprint or baggage occur between ages of 2 to 9 years ... and it always has related to a child feeling unloved by an adult due to some event that occurred ! This is a WOW!

    Deep down, everyone wants to ...... Love and Feel Loved .. and when this is not being met, a child's takes onboard any of a multitude of imprints that later become apparent in the conscious state, e.g. smoking, alcohol issues, neediness issues, obsessions, "Perfectionism" and other behavioural characteristics.

    So in short, if anyone has issues with "perfectionism" or any other issue for that matter (e.g. relationship matters or anger or fears ... just to name three more areas), then these sub-conscious imprints or items of baggage can now be easily removed ... permanently.

    On a conscious, analytical and logical basis, humans being humans can't be perfect with everything ... this is subjective and an opinion in any case. We are not machines and even machines tend to break down ultimately and become imperfect.

    So to help anyone who is willing to accept they have this "perfectionism" issue, please understand that it is NOT YOUR FAULT that you have this issue ... as your sub-conscious mind most likely took on some false beliefs some years ago.

    Also, it is a useful idea to get every dictionary in one's home and at work .... and block out with a black texta or biro, the word "Perfect" and any derivative of it , such as "perfectionism".

    This becomes a conscious awareness and ACTION to attempt to deal with "Perfectionism" in some form.

    Instead consciously, always aim for .... EXCELLENCE.

    When one has an attitude of always being OPEN to learning and growing, then your level of excellence keeps on going up. This way you and everyone else with whom you are in contact, are happy.

    Hope this is beneficial and of interest to Members. Please feel free to ask any questions if you wish more explanation or clarification.

    Colin
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronak Shah
    The desire for perfection is the worst disease that ever afflicted the human mind.
    Marquis Louis Fontanes (1757-1821) to Napoleon 1 in 1804.

    Perfection does not exist. To understand it is the triumph of human intelligence; the desire to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness.

    Alfred de Musset (1810-1857).

    Obsession to perfectionism will make you a maniac - nothing more and nothing less. Just get what you want and leave the rest.

    Ronak.
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  • Profile picture of the author jaxrefinance
    Yes it is. It's the disability of enjoyment. I remember reading a book about self discipline that said "Perfection is in the domain of God".

    You make yourself happy. Not your car, job, success or house. Only the one within
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  • Profile picture of the author thetruth23
    Definitely!

    I was reading at another forum about a similar topic and someone posted a message which stuck out to me.

    'You can make it perfect or you can finish it before you die'

    Perfection is perhaps a good thing to strive for, but know when to stop!

    With internet marketing, and with the way things change so quickly online, perfectionism gets in the way of success big time!

    Its much better, if you've got something to put out, to just go ahead and put it out there. As long as its 'good enough' you can just tweak it over time to make things better.
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  • Profile picture of the author allanlim
    At the very least, you know what is affecting you.

    Some people don't even know what is hindering their success.
    Just be gentle with yourself and don't try to change yourself overnight.

    It is just not going to happen.
    Rather, change yourself gradually.

    Allow a little bit of imperfection everyday.
    Sooner or later, you will find it easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author CharlieDewitte
    I'm a perfectionist too. I always want to update my site graphics with small details when in the end, no-one even notices. Just go for it, test stuff out, see what works. Don't focus on the small stuff but on the big picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author NatureElf
    It is a problem and something I try to deal with daily, in every aspect of my life. I have gotten better in some ways...but it takes work.
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  • Profile picture of the author turbot
    All you need to do is to target your perfectionism appropriately.

    If you can do 3 C grade things in the same time it takes to do 1 A grade thing, then in most cases, C grade will suffice. So you need to be a perfectionist about your process, and perfectly be as productive as possible!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonas Iri
    I've been fighting with perfectionism for all my life. Now I've beaten it.

    How? I just think: having very little is always better than having nothing. If my perfectionism tells me it is not good enough, I use it anyway. This works for articles, websites, study, etc etc..

    Also, have a look at the following graph:

    .

    Consider X as time spent on a project and Y as quality of that project at the current point. As you can see, after a certain threshold, the more you work the smaller the improvement. Just find the sweet spot that will maximize quality and time saved. It requires time to find it but it is worth it.
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    • Profile picture of the author clg21
      I find that when I try to do something myself, I am very critical about it. But when I outsource it, it's good enough.
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