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||141||: Perfectionist or Scared Stiff?

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich

I remember a few Professors encouraging me and holding me accountable to send in my online assignments.

What I noticed is, the work I did took several hours and by the end of every assignment, I was worn out, I’d shut down and give up. I decided then, this is too hard and I don’t think I can produce good work every week. I made a conscious decision to be scared stiff.

After several day of missed assignments, the Professor emailed me and said, please send it in, whatever you have, “done is better than perfect”.

I shared that same message with a friend this past week, who was struggling to do an Online Discussion assignment and I knew that the quote left her feeling just as I did, that there was an important element missing. I chuckled, feeling like a Professional Student, and told her I’ve been in school, on and off for years.

What my friend and I had in common, is that when we commit to a project, we give it our all. We want to do it well, and sometimes we avoid the project because we know that giving our everything will be draining, but when we do get it done, we feel like Champions. Just like a runners high, it feels so good when you’re moving, but can we convince ourselves to get up everyday at 4am and keep running?

So here’s the quote that adds dimension to, Done is Better than Perfect.

Done is better than perfect’…doesn’t mean making crap — I believe you should always strive for the highest quality you can — but you have to finish.”

 Ben Barry

Another phrase a Professor told me during a Narrative Writing class, “Write a Crappy First Draft”, give your self permission to produce shit.

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”

William Faulkner

I don’t have the perfect praise to help you be less of a perfectionist. What I have experienced, are the memories of people who have shared these words with me, and I carry them with me when I reach a mental block.

I hope that they become part of your subconscious and help you complete your work that thing you’re thinking about, rather than avoid necessary tasks and conversations.

As we participate in this human experience, may we continue to see failure as an opportunity to make improvements.

You’ve gotta take a shot, you have to live at the edge of your capabilities. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re going to fail. Failure actually helps you to recognize the areas where you need to evolve. So fail early, fail often, fail forward.”

Will Smith

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