I want to talk about perfection and why seeking it can sometimes be dangerous and it’s a huge obstacle to overcome. Now, I’m somebody who always tries to do my best at everything I do. Even if I’m not good at it, I’m always going to give my full effort. It’s always been really important to me. I do set my standards very high for myself, and I think it’s wise to do that. You always want to be striving to do more, to be better, to improve… all of those fun things.
But what happens sometimes is we set that bar so high, we manage our expectations in a way that makes it impossible to do anything.
Now, I take video as my perfect example… my own struggle. People have been telling me for years, “You need to do video. The best way for you to connect with your audience is through video. That’s where your clients are. You need to do video!” Well, I don’t want to. I have made my whole career behind a camera and that’s very much where my comfort level lies.
But, I do understand that they’re right. Video is a very important part of consuming content these days. And the people I’m working with are people who watch videos.
So I’ve been planning on doing this for a very long time, but something always stops me. Actually, a lot of things stop me. And part of this comes from being in production and being stuck in my head that I know how video should look. And if I don’t have a proper backdrop, and I don’t have the right lighting, and maybe I should go put some makeup on, and all of these things that I know are not perfect. I somehow feel that will be a poor representation of my entire industry.
I know that’s not logically sound.
This is the way people do it now, and that’s just something I’ve had to accept. I’m kind of envious in a way of the younger generation that’s grown up with phones in their faces, because this is so comfortable for them. They can just hit record and start talking to their phone like it’s no big deal.
But for me, it feels really uncomfortable. I don’t know how to just talk to my phone and have this conversation.
But I’m trying.
And I know that I’m awkward. I learned from doing the Womanpreneur Podcast for the last year that my face does weird things that I didn’t know it did before, and they’re things I can’t do anything about because that’s just my face. And it’s fine. I’m completely okay with my awkwardness. I own it. Not a big deal. When I say I’m awkward, I don’t mean that in any kind of self-deprecating manner.
But it is part of who I am, and I feel that that’s amplified on camera where I can’t really hide because it’s all right there for everyone to see.
I know that these hang-ups have stopped me from making progress towards the things I want to do.
Part of this also comes from me being an introvert (which I’ll talk about in a different episode). But it is very difficult for me to be the center of attention. And that kind of goes against what I’m trying to do here because I have to be the center of attention because it’s my advice that you’re watching, listening to, or reading.
So all of this is what goes on inside my head. And a lot of times, I’m thinking so much about all these little details… that don’t matter to anybody besides myself… that I just don’t do anything. I don’t make any progress. And it’s not so much a fear as it is just… I don’t know… waiting for the right time, waiting to have the right pieces, and basically – it’s just excuses.
We all make these excuses for why we’re not doing something, why we’re not moving forward. “Oh, we just need to wait for this, and then we can go start working towards our goals.”
But the more we seek perfection, the more we wait to have the perfect opportunity to do what we want to do, the more time we’re wasting not doing anything. And that doesn’t help anybody.
Because sometimes we just have to let go of the idea that we’re going to be able to do things perfectly, and just do something.
If it’s not perfect the first time, hopefully you’ll learn and grow and the next time it’ll be better.
And it’s funny for me to say this because there’s been a problem in my industry for a while that I’ve felt, that so many people stopped caring about the quality of video and they’re perfectly fine with “good enough.” And I think that “good enough” is a dangerous thing to settle for.
But this is different than what I’m talking about in the sense that, sometimes, “good enough” is just what you need to move forward.
You can always go back and do a hundred takes of the same video and try to do it one time where you don’t make any mistakes. But we’re all human and we do make mistakes. And people right now are connecting with the authenticity of people that comes from making mistakes, being vulnerable, being relatable, and all of those things that show that you’re not alone in whatever it is you’re trying to do. Because nobody wants to take advice from people who aren’t doing what they say.
And so, for me to talk to people… and a lot of times when I’m advising people about their businesses, I’m encouraging the importance of video and connecting with people. Because it is true, that’s how marketing works these days. There’s this whole thing with personal branding that has really become important because even when you’re a professional you’re trying to present yourself in a certain way, but people want to know who they’re working with. They want to get a sense of who you are. Because we want to work with people we like, and who we get along with, and have similar values to.
We all struggle with something.
So I want you to ask yourself, is the quest for perfection getting in the way of what you want to do?
If you’re writing down a list of the things you need to accomplish to get to that goal, are there real roadblocks? Or are they excuses? Is it something that you can move forward with if you just let go of this idea that it has to be perfect? Or do you really need to do a little more work until you’re ready? Because there are times where both are true.
But I’m finding so much lately that we all have a lot of excuses in our heads, and it’s, “I’m going to do that, but I need this. I need better equipment. I need more time. I need a better this, I need more of that.”
There’s always going to be something we need more of, a better of… all of that stuff will always exist. We can’t keep putting off what we want to do until it’s going to be perfect.
Instead, just do it! Just start!
If you want to paint something, paint it. Maybe it’s not perfect but get something done and then move on and the next one will be better. You want to write a screenplay? Get started! Just write something. Write it all out and when you’re done, maybe you make some edits, maybe you scrap it and start all over, but at least you’ve done something.
And that’s really the gist of what I’m trying to get to…
Really, it’s better to do something that’s not perfect than to not do anything at all.
So “good enough”… while it can be the enemy if it’s all we ever settle for and we don’t try to get better… “good enough” is sometimes is all you need to get started.