Stop trying to be perfect - focus on improving

Last Update: Aug 4, 2022

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  • Are you held back because you are trying to be perfect?
  • Do you end up not doing things you want to do because you think you won't be good enough?
  • Do you worry about what everyone else will say and end up not even trying?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, then chances are, you are doing what most people on the planet do which is to hold themselves back because they are afraid of not being 'perfect', forgetting that perfection doesn't really exist and the real work is in the journey we take to improve ourselves, not really in the outcome. And the reason that is true is that once we arrive at what we might mistakenly call 'perfection', we find ourselves with new goals and ambitions we want to achieve, and the process starts all over again. The goal is not the achievement, but the process of improving.

If you are an athlete, competing in your local athletics meet. You might first set yourself the goal of winning the 100m at the next meet, thinking that you will be satisfied with that win - it will be 'perfect' if you win.

Now some people will train and work hard, but if they feel that they don't have it in them to win at the next meet, they may try to back out, or justify to themselves why they are not ready and just back out. And you know what? They won't win because they won't even show up!

Don't be that person! Get up and try something new!

Goals are excellent tools because they can motivate you and give you a clear path to work on. But if the goal is so far away from where you are now, and you have the highest expectations of yourself, without allowing yourself the right to try, fail and learn from the experience, then the success that you yearn for will always be out of reach.

Instead of aiming for perfection, set yourself the task of improving one thing each day. It might be to write 200 words for a blog post, or it might be to write 2000. It might be to do one extra press-up, or eat 10 fewer calories. But the important point is, that whatever your ultimate goal is, you move closer to it. That way your success is assured as long as you don't give up.

The path to the top of the mountain is rarely straight up!

So stop trying to be perfect and instead, mark your way with celebrations of your small successes on the way!

What have you done to improve yourself today and move you towards your goal?

Why not celebrate that?

Recent Comments


Very true words, Gail. Perfection is an illusion!


That's what I way when I look in the mirror! :)

Haha, Gail! I do the same thing!


Wise words, if we would only listen.


Hi Alex

Yes - there's the rub!
Hope you are well.


You are speaking to me! I think we all strive for perfection. This is something I am working through.

The need for perfection tends to make you overthink and never get anything accomplished i.e. the blog post you are working on. Just remember no one is perfect. (Self-talk to myself on a daily basis) Write that blog post, publish it and you can always go back and add to or take away!

Great post!

Hi Lisa. Very true. Nothing wrong with aiming for perfection, but just take it in small steps! Hope you get your blog posted today! :)

Very well said, Gail.
Thanks for the motivation.

Hit again. And, you're welcome.

Hey, Gail!

Well, I only yes to your first 2 questions. Thank you for your valuable write-up.

Sadly, I am a perfectionist. There is no such thing as perfect in my mind... BUT the thing is, whatever it is it has to look right, feel right, sound right.

I know I can write... but at what point do you stop trying to correct every single wording, and re-read the same content dozens of times? Then it gets boring and I don't finish writing the content to its entirety enough to hit the publish button because I'm still not satisfied.

I even a list of things to do and break them down into mini-goals but I still the results perfect in my eyes.

This is me!

I know the feeling. I used to direct plays and educational films for a living and I hated watching the actual performances or the films back because I could only ever see the things I'd missed or still wanted to change. But the audience saw something different - they were looking at the amazing things that were there and not the little niggles that I was seeing. It's all about perspective. Once I learned to say "That's enough for now", my life changed and I was able to enjoy what I'd done. That doesn't mean I don't want to do things better in the future, but there's always time for that!
All the best with your writing.

Hey Gail,

Ummm, good point... it's all about their perspective. I need to implant that thought in my brain.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

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