Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Balancing Perfection with Getting Things Done

When you start a business, you need to establish some basic marketing materials: a logo; a website; a brochure; stationery; etc. I have noticed (in my work with clients) that some people have more trouble getting through these steps than others, and I think it has something to do with striving for perfection, which can also be thought of as a fear of doing things wrong.

Some psychologists say that in pursuing perfection we are actually avoiding failure. We are so afraid of putting ourselves out there that we hold back, delaying the processes that will make us a possible target for feedback.

What I have found is that putting our faith in someone else and allowing that person to help by building a website for us, or putting out a press release on our business, or otherwise promoting us to the world, can be terrifying for someone striving for perfection.

But, of course, we can't just ignore our perfectionist tendencies. Sometimes they are valid signals that the quality we seek is not being achieved. Thus, the true challenge is learning to discern perfectionism, or the avoidance of fear, from quality action, or the pursuit of something that accurately reflects us.

Obviously, this is not easy, and it is something that I and my clients struggle with regularly. What I have found is that just becoming aware of this balancing act and having empathy for our fear can sometimes help us get to quality action.

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