Fighting perfectionism

March 5th, 2024
· 3 min read ·
Life Advice

Obsessing over quality is one of those characteristics, that are not inherently bad. I mean – who wouldn’t want to say from themselves that they create high-quality things?

But it becomes a problem when it hinders you to actually doing the thing you should be doing in the first place. Since I tend to be that person, here are a few things that helped me that maybe also help you:

Create a dedicated outlet for “imperfect” things

Taking off the pressure of writing the perfect blog post has helped me tremendously with getting into the craft. The main thing that I did: Creating this notes section on my website. An outlet for my thoughts, even if they are not perfectly polished and backed by 10 scientific studies.

For you, this could for example be a separate account on Instagram or a new YouTube channel. Whatever suits your creations best.

“Perfectionism” is just an excuse

Typically, when I excuse my inaction with “perfectionism”, I’m actually just procrastinating. I’m trying to avoid seeing the thing being created in real life and thus, maybe realising, that it’s not as perfect as it was in my head.

But knowing this can sometimes help you get over that first hurdle. Sometime, you’ll have to start. Do it now.

Obsess over quantity first

Especially when you’re new to something, quantity is more important than quality. Before you’ve filmed, edited and published 100 videos, you shouldn’t really care about doing advanced motion design in After Effects. By creating more, you’ll encounter more problems to solve, and you’ll see opportunities to improve your process. Which helps you much more in the long run.

Create a bunch of things, document your journey, see your improvement. It will be rewarding when you look back at it in a year.

You can always improve the thing later

This one is especially true when what you create exists in the digital space. Making a copy and tweaking things you’re not happy with is a trivial action. Don’t be scared of that. Share your things, even if they have big “WIP-energy”.

Iterations are your friend.

No one cares as much as you

Harsh truth, but as long as you’re not world-famous, nobody will care about the tiny little details of your work. What sounds sad is actually a relief. You can get away with doing imperfect things. To many, they will already look perfect.

This also applies to many other things in life. Read about the Spotlight effect, if you’ve never heard of that one.

Learn new things

When you’re a beginner at something, you almost certainly won’t be perfect at it. You’ll have that child-like naivety of approaching the craft with curiosity and excitement. Which feels great in contrast to our professional world, where we always have to pretend we’re an expert.

Be a beginner at something and allow yourself to be bad at it!

These were the tips that immediately came to mind. I hope they serve as inspiration to you and as a reminder to myself.

The list is probably not perfect, but who cares (except previous me 😉).

What are your thoughts on this post?

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