In January 2020, I will be launching a training program for business start-ups to help people get the basics right from the word start. In the process of researching and building the 5 modules contained in this 5-weeks program, I have been falling into the alluring hole of perfectionism.
I’ve had to put a sticky note on my laptop to remind me one simple fact “Perfection is the Enemy of Growth and Progress”.
With 2020 beckoning, we are all reminded, almost coerced, to make the right plans, the right moves, the right contacts, and the right decisions. A process that makes me, sometimes, wonder about mistakes.
Where imperfection was discouraged
Back in primary school, mistakes were the enemy of progress. Our teachers would threaten us before an exam and you knew that you would get a spanking for every question failed. Years on, this inculcated idea, that mistakes and imperfection are our enemies, is difficult to erase from our minds as we struggle to succeed in business, raising our children, maintaining relationships and even managing ourselves as team members in the places of work.
Well, short of putting a sticky note in your frequently visited places in the house and around your working desk, here are some other ways of overcoming the limiting thought that you have to be perfect.
Compress your assignments into blocks of time
Knowing that you are working against a timer, gets you to concentrate on the task at hand exclusively. You identify what needs to be done and you go at it with everything you have. No phone calls, no texting, no social media, just you and the assignment. The biggest thing about these blocks of time is that you do not rate your excellence or how perfectly you have done the job. You rate yourself in finishing the task so that you don’t have to go back to it.
Books contain much wisdom and knowledge. It is through reading that you get to see and understand that you are not a unique breed. In growing your career and/ business, reading about mistakes that other people have made and how they bounced out of them is a big investment in your success. Books like The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, Failing Forward by John C. Maxwell, The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick or The Dip by Seth Godin, among many others, help us focus on the Why, the How and the What. They help us know that we just need to start, adjust, grow and improve.
Perfection is a preserve of God
Associate with others
When you work with other people, you get to know that you are not good at everything. Being a jack of all trades, first of all, denies you the power of your unique gifting. Second, it denies you the opportunity to impact other people’s lives. A good teacher is not a good video producer. As such, the teacher should seek out mutually beneficial partnerships with someone who can make some videos to put them online or craft them to be sold for future classes. Diversity in relationships and talents is a better option in dealing with your imperfections.
Make a big deal of your wins
The only one who knows how difficult your achievement is is you. So in your schedule of work, make time, at least once a month to celebrate your success and pat yourself on the back. Two things happen when you do this. First, you lessen the fear of failure for your next venture because you tell yourself, “If I made it through that, then I can make it in the next try.” The other thing a celebration does is that it reminds you why you are doing what you are doing; and as we shared in the last post, your ‘why’ always has an upper hand over every other motivator.
Can you identify how many projects, tasks or assignments you have shied away from because you didn’t think you had it in you or because you thought you were not “fully” equipped to handle them?
Once your list is done, pick just one and start where you left off. Next week, I’ll share with you, how to make sure there is progress.